Another ‘brain-eating amoeba’ death reported in Pakistan, 3rd of the year in Karachi
For the third time in a month, a man from Pakistan’s largest city has succumbed to the “brain-eating amoeba”, Naegleria fowleri. According to a Samaa TV report, the 32-year-old man died at a private hospital Friday. No details on how the victim contracted the lethal parasite were made available.
Two weeks ago, a 22-year-old man from the Gulistan-e-Jauhar neighborhood in Karachi, Sindh died at the Aga Khan University Hospital after an attempt at treating the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri. And the first case of the year was reported at the end of May when a 39-year-old Karachi man died after being exposed to the amoeba while performing ablution, or nasal rinsing.
Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba”), is a microscopic amoeba which is a single-celled living organism. It can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals. Infections can happen when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the amoeba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM (which destroys brain tissue) and is usually fatal. Infections usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods of time, which results in higher water temperatures and lower water levels.
Naegleria fowleri infections are rare. Most infections occurred from exposure to contaminated recreational water. You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water and the amoeba is not found in salt water.
Initial symptoms of PAM usually start within 1 to 7 days after infection. The initial symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting. Other symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page
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