As the number of Naegleria cases continues to rise in Karachi, experts have issued a warning, urging the public to refrain from swimming in pools that have not been properly chlorinated.
Naegleria fowleri is a free-living amoeba that causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a disease of the central nervous system.
The amoeba lives in warm, fresh water and enters the human brain through the nose, possibly during water activity or ablution for religious purposes.
Public health expert Dr Yahya Khan said that cases of Naegleria may also occur in other cities, but due to inadequate testing, they may go unreported. However, he stressed that the disease can be prevented through careful measures.
In response to the situation, Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has announced her intention to meet with the Managing Director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board to address the issue of Naegleria.
She has instructed for chlorination procedures to be implemented in areas where the city receives its water supply.
Water samples are being collected and tested to identify any presence of Naegleria, according to Dr Pechuho.
She further advised the public to avoid activities that may cause water to enter the nose and suggested the use of chlorine tablets in household water tanks.
The health department is actively working to launch an awareness campaign to educate the public about the prevention and risks associated with Naegleria.
The collective efforts of experts, health officials, and public awareness campaigns are crucial in tackling the rising cases of Naegleria and ensuring the safety and well-being of the community.