KARACHI - Senior director medical and Health Services Department of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has issued a Naegleria Fowleri alert in Karachi and advised the citizens to take preventive measures.

Senior Director Dr Birbal Genani said that the major source of Naegleria Fowleri commonly known as the brain-eating amoeba is warm and fresh water, unchlorinated water supply, which enters through nose and causes brain cell damage leading to Naegleria Fowleri infection while swimming bathing and during ablution.

He said that the symptoms generally begin two to fifteen days of exposure to the amoeba. He advised the citizens not to swim in unprotected water collection or rainwater, do not swim in water collected from broken water distribution lines, keep head above the water while swimming in rivers, ponds, lakes, and swimming pools and recreation places.

He further advised that the citizens should boil water for bathing and ablution, avoid nasal wash during common flu or nasal congestion, use chlorinated or boiled water, place one teaspoon full bleach on 1,000 liter of water and clean overhead and underground tanks twice a year.

Dr Birbal said that patients should seek medical advice if they develop sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, confusion, and sleeplessness, particularly if you have recently been in warm water and fresh water. Earlier, Naegleria Fowleri claimed the life of a citizen in a private hospital of Karachi. 40-year-old Pervez, resident of Gulistan-e-Jauhar died due to Naegleria Fowleri.

The Sindh Health Department has constituted a six-member focal group to formulate strategy for control of Naegleria Fowleri.