Brain-Eating Amoeba Claims Another Life
In a tragic incident, the ‘brain-eating amoeba’ known as Naegleria fowleri has claimed the life of a young man in Karachi. Salman Ahmed, a 21-year-old resident of DHA, was admitted to a private hospital on 18th June after developing a fever. Despite receiving ventilator support, his health continued to deteriorate, and he passed away on 6th July.
This unfortunate fatality adds to the growing number of Naegleria-related deaths, which now stands at six. Among these cases, four have occurred in Karachi, while Quetta and Hyderabad each reported one case.
The Importance of Adequate Water Treatment
Investigations into Salman Ahmed’s case have revealed that he had bathed in the swimming pool of a private academy in DHA. Samples collected from the pool indicated low chlorine levels, prompting further analysis.
Health experts have expressed their concerns over the inadequate chlorine levels in Karachi’s water supply, placing the blame on the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board. The water treatment facilities are facing criticism for not maintaining appropriate chlorine levels, which are essential for ensuring the safety of the water consumed by citizens.
The Risk of Deteriorating Sewage Lines
In addition to the insufficient chlorine levels, experts are also concerned about the deteriorating sewage lines in Karachi. These decaying pipelines pose a significant risk to the overall water quality and safety in the city. The possibility of contamination from the sewage system is a major concern, as it can lead to the proliferation of harmful organisms, including the brain-eating amoeba.
Ensuring Water Disinfection and Safety
Given the gravity of the situation, citizens are strongly urged to take proactive measures to ensure water disinfection and safety. To prevent the spread of Naegleria fowleri and other waterborne diseases, individuals should undertake the following steps:
Clean Underground Tanks Regularly
Regular cleaning of underground water tanks is essential to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria and amoebae. These organisms can multiply rapidly and contaminate the water supply. By maintaining clean and sanitized tanks, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Use Chlorine Tablets
Using chlorine tablets is an effective method of disinfecting water. These tablets help in killing bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms, including Naegleria fowleri. By following the recommended dosage, individuals can ensure the safety of the water they consume.
Boil or Filter Drinking Water
Boiling or filtering drinking water is an additional precautionary measure that individuals can adopt to remove any potential contaminants. These methods help in eliminating harmful organisms, making the water safer for consumption.
The recent death of Salman Ahmed due to the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri highlights the urgent need for improved water treatment and safety measures in Karachi. It is crucial for the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board to address the issue of low chlorine levels and take necessary steps to maintain proper water disinfection. Citizens must also play their part by cleaning their underground tanks regularly, using chlorine tablets, and boiling or filtering drinking water. By working together, we can minimize the risks associated with waterborne diseases and ensure a safer environment for everyone.