Karachi reports third death from Naegleria Fowleri

Karachi reports its third death from Naegleria Fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba. A resident of Abul Hassan Isphahani Road, Faizan Rasool, 48 passed away from Naegleria. The patient complained of fever and neck pain, the fever persisted despite taking medicines. As his condition worsened, the family rushed him to Dow Hospital Karachi and then he shifted to a hospital in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, due to ICU bed shortage at Dow. The reports show that the patient got affected by the amoeba while performing ablution at his house.

As this virus is taking over the city, let’s learn more about what is this virus, where does it exist and how dangerous it can be.

Naegleria Fowleri

Naegleria Fowleri is responsible for the disease that causes the Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM). This amoeba is an emerging problem in Karachi; the infection is fatal in 98% of cases. The amoeba lives in warm, fresh water and enters the human brain through the nose, possibly during water activity or ablution for religious purposes. It is commonly found in warm, freshwater lakes, rivers and hot springs. Exposure to the amoeba usually occurs during swimming or other water sports.

A huge number of individuals are exposed to this amoeba that causes naegleria disease every year, except just a few of them get sick by it. Health authorities are still clueless that why a few people get naegleria disease while others don’t.

Symptoms of Naegleria Fowleri

The symptoms of naegleria infection generally begin within two to 15 days of exposure to the amoeba. The first signs and symptoms to appear often include,

  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in smell or taste
  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Nasal congestion or discharge

And the symptoms worsen up to having stiff neck, sensitivity to light, confusion, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations. The disease can spread rapidly and usually leads up to instant coma and then death within five days of the start of the symptoms.

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Factors that increase the risk

Some of the factors that increase the risk of Naegleria are,

Freshwater swimming

Most people become sick have been swimming in freshwater lakes in previous two weeks.

Heat wave

The amoeba lives and survives in fresh water and warm environment and those infections are more likely to occur in southern states with hotter climatic situations.


Children and young adults are at higher risk to be affected.

Nasal washes

Using contaminated water for ablutions or showers can be one of the major reasons of the amoeba to reach the brain directly. People who use water to clean their noses for sinuses are at greater risk. Make sure to use chlorinated or boiled water.

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Once you contract the disease, there is no such cure for it. The only thing is a precaution. Which can be helpful to get rid of this horrific disease!