How to Protect Ourselves From Naegleria Fowleri

How to Protect Ourselves From Naegleria Fowleri

On Sunday 12th July, a neurologist in Karachi, died from the brain-eating amoeba, ‘Naegleria Fowleri’. Four people lost their lives to the bacteria in the city this year.

"Since 2012, a sharp rise has been observed in the cases of Naegleria in Karachi," stated Shakeel Ahmed, the focal person for the Karachi Naegleria Cell.

For investigation of these cases, the Sindh government has created a four-member committee directed by the Karachi health director. "They will plan a policy within three days to curb the rising number of cases," he briefed.

According to Ahmed, by the time a patient infected by the Naegleria Fowleri reaches the hospital, there's nothing the doctors can do. "It is very essential that people must pro-detect the virus and follow precautionary measures."

Here's how:

  • Add two tablespoons of bleaching powder to our underground tank
  • Add bleach to the water, to kill all types of bacteria
  • To cover our water tanks
  • To clean our water tank at least once a year

The Karachi water board is responsible only for delivering water to the pipelines, not for ensuring the cleanliness of the tanks and pipes. It is the responsibility of people, Ahmed says.

A warning has also been issued to Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to ensure that the Defence and Clifton residents chlorinate their underground water tanks.

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Important Information about Naegleria Fowleri

  • It is commonly found in soil and warm freshwater (lakes, rivers)
  • It can cause an overwhelming and rare brain infection
  • Naegleria Fowleri creates infection when contaminated water enters through the nose
  • The infections rarely occur from heated and contaminated tap water or inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water)
  • One cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria