KARACHI - The critically-ill 14-year-old patient of brain eating amoeba died in Liaquat National Hospital (LNH), doctors said on Friday.
In this year’s first case of Naegleria Fowleri, Adeel Hussain a resident of Karachi’s Korangi area was brought to LNH in a semi-conscious condition with high fever on May 10.
Though he was instantly put on ventilators of LNH’s intensive care unit, the child succumbed to the disease late Thursday evening.
The survival rate in this disease is quite low.
According to head of National Institute of Child Health, Dr Jamal Raza, the Naegleria Fowleri is a special organism found in warm water or puddles.
Swimming in public pools, with improper arrangements for chlorination, is considered to be a major reason for contracting the disease.
Dr Raza said that if Naegleria infested water passes through the digestive track after ingestion, it does not inflict as much damage as a nasal transfer would.
The germs travel through the nasal cavity and damage the brain. The age of Naegleria victims has ranged between 4-49 years.
“So far, we can only confirm the disease through medical tests. The symptoms can be high fever, stiffening of neck, and vomiting. It appears three to seven days after the person has been exposed to contaminated water. But apart from that we need to treat the chlorine level in water reservoirs, which is being done, to avoid more incidents,” Dr Raza added.
But most doctors are still clueless about the disease that killed over 10 people in Karachi last year.
According to a report in Dawn, health expert suggested that physicians and clinicians go beyond international research and deduce an indigenous opinion on the issue.
Also, apart from one case, other patients had no history of swimming.
At present, the health department and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation is launching a campaign to generate awareness for people’s protection in the city.
A renowned pediatrician Dr Ghaffar Billo said that science had progressed considerably adding that a cure for the disease would soon be developed along the same line as other diseases previously perceived incurable.
“New challenges will keep on coming in, we only need to have the sensibility to tackle them with better techniques and technology,” he added.
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