The ‘brain-eating’ amoeba Naegleria fowleri has claimed its 15th life in Karachi.
The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Hameedullah Gul from Rasheedabad. He was brought unconscious to the emergency room at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Thursday night, according to JPMC Executive Director Dr Seemin Jamali.
His condition deteriorated and he was put on a ventilator. He passed away on Friday morning.
Earlier, a 26-year-old man had also died due to the disease while undergoing treatment at the Aga Khan University Hospital. He was suspected to have contracted the disease while swimming in a pool that wasn’t properly chlorinated.
The deadly infection is transmitted by Naegleria fowleri, which thrives in warm, freshwater sources such as lakes, rivers and swimming pools. However, in Karachi, it is believed that leaky water pipes which reduce chlorination on the way to people’s houses are to blame.
Until the government springs into action, a way people can protect themselves against the disease is by buying chlorine tablets for their water tanks at their houses. People should also switch to using drinking or boiled water for wuzu.