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July 13, 2021

KWSB asked to chlorinate water as Naegleria fowleri kills teenager

Naegleria fowleri, also known as the brain-eating bug, has claimed one more life in Karachi, where a 19-year-old man died due to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) at the PNS Shifa Hospital a few days ago, officials said on Monday.

“Nineteen-year-old Rana Mujahid, a resident of Dalmia in District East, had been taken to the PNS Shifa after contracting a Naegleria fowleri infection, and he died on Friday during treatment,” Director Health Karachi Dr Akram Sultan told The News on Monday.

He said that so far six people have lost their lives due to PAM in Karachi, of which five were residents of the city while one belonged to the Lasbela district of Balochistan. Dr Sultan said Mujahid had visited a farmhouse in District Malir, where he had used the swimming facility, adding that probably the non-chlorinated water in the swimming facility resulted in the N fowleri infection.

He said that all five deaths due to the bug in Karachi occurred in the months of June and July, adding that a woman from Lasbela had died in January during treatment at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi.

Advisory

The office of the director health has issued an advisory for the prevention of PAM caused by N fowleri, advising district health officers (DHOs) and medical superintendents of the major health facilities to launch an immediate awareness campaign for the public as well as for medical and paramedical staff of health facilities.

“There is a need to assess the level of chlorination in all the major water reservoirs in the city, while cleanliness must be maintained at all the reservoirs in the city. Water tanker service providers should be asked to ensure provision of chlorinated water to the people.”

The advisory advised the DHOs to work together with the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) to ensure chlorination of water.