By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In a follow-up to the situation in Karachi, Pakistan and the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, health officials Monday confirmed another amoebic meningitis fatality, the fifth in the city in recent months.
The individual is a 19-year-old resident of Mujahid Colony, Dalmia who is believed to have contracted the lethal parasite swimming.
Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, or PAM, the disease caused by Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba that is found in almost all untreated, fresh surface water and in soil. The amoeba thrives in freshwater that is warmer than 80 degrees and stagnant or slow-moving.
PAM only infects people when water containing the amoeba enters through the nose, usually from diving or jumping into freshwater. The infection cannot be spread from person to person or by drinking contaminated water. The amoeba travels up the nose and makes its way into the brain along the olfactory nerve, destroying brain tissue.
Those infected with PAM will usually start showing symptoms about 5 days after the infection. It can often be mistaken for the flu or bacterial meningitis, as early symptoms include headache, fever, nausea or vomiting and can then progress to loss of balance, a stiff neck, seizures and hallucinations. The disease progresses quickly once the symptoms start and usually causes death within two weeks of the initial infection.
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