A man from Karachi Gardens is the eighth victim to the lethal amoeba, Naegleria fowleri in Pakistan this year, according to a Dawn.com report today. The 34-year-old man was admitted to a local hospital in a precarious condition on Wednesday where he died on Thursday.
“He was the eighth victim of Naegleria this year in Sindh. Seven deaths have been reported from Karachi and another from Hyderabad,” said Dr Zafar Ijaz, the executive district officer-health, Karachi.
“We have taken samples of water from his house and shop for examination,” he added.
Karachi was the epicenter of a Naegleria fowleri outbreak that killed 10 people in the summer of 2012. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Naegleria fowleri is a free-living amoeba that can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
People get infected when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. The Naegleria fowleri ameba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue.
In Pakistan, the amoeba has been reported contracted by performing ablution. The practice of ablution is included in Yogic, Ayurvedic, and Islamic traditions. Within the Islamic faith, ritual nasal rinsing is included in a cleansing process called wudu; or ablution. It is usually performed several times a day in preparation for prayer, according to the CDC. The deadly parasite has also be contracted via the use of neti pots.
You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water, the CDC notes.