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A brain-eating amoeba known as 'Naegleria fowleri' is spreading panic in Pakistan where it has taken a toll of 10 lives since May.

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Water contamination is a major issue around the world. In most cases, it leads to a number of infections and diseases. It has now been found out that in the port city of Karachi in Pakistan, a brain-eating amoeba is spreading panic, already having taken a toll of 10 lives in the past few months. The amoeba is scientifically known as ‘Naegleria fowleri.’

Brain eating amoeba

The amoeba is quite deadly in that once it enters the body, it moves to the brain and starts consuming brain cells. This can lead to drastic consequences for the victim and often, a quick death. The fatality rate of this amoeba is 98 percent which means that the best security against it is prevention.

Naegleria fowleri enters the human body through the nasal pathway. If consumed through drinking water, it is harmless but if it enters through the nose, which is possible when swimming in a contaminated pool, it is deadly.

According to a WHO official in Pakistan, Dr Musa Khan, “People should avoid getting water too deep into their nostrils and make sure their water supply is properly treated. Those with symptoms should seek help immediately.”

The symptoms that a victim suffers from include a mild headache, fever, a stiff neck and stomach pain. The alarming part is that its symptoms are fairly mild and can be routinely ignored. However, the disease takes a severe form in virtually no time and causes death within a week after infection.

Since May, 10 cases of infection caused by this amoeba have been reported in Karachi. Authorities have now decided to launch a public awareness campaign so as to inform the people about the imminent danger of using contaminated water.

Courtesy: Reuters

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  On October 9, 2012(2 years, 12 months ago.)

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