NIH issues advisory to prevent primary amoebic meningoencephalitis

ISLAMABAD – The National Institute of Health (NIH) has issued an advisory for the prevention and control of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

According to HIN, vigilant surveillance is imperative to pick the suspected cases for early disease confirmation and to ensure aggressive measures to interrupt further transmission.

It added the objective of this advisory was to alert the public health authorities, water, and sanitation agencies, and other relevant stakeholders to undertake necessary steps for the prevention and control of PAM across Pakistan, especially in Karachi.

Through this advisory, NIH advises health authorities to mitigate the risks associated with the hot season ahead, it is imperative to undertake immediate and long-term preventive measures in megacities, particularly Karachi.

The advisory recommended key messages for the general public including during recreational activities like swimming, avoiding diving and getting water up in the nose, and trying to avoid water-related activities when the water is not chlorinated.

The advisory also recommended empty and clean small collapsible bathing pools daily, ensuring swimming pools and spas are adequately chlorinated and well maintained, if using un-chlorinated water, don’t allow water to go up in the nose when bathing, showering, or washing the face, potentially contaminated water should not be used for any form of nasal irrigation or nasal lavage.

Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba, being a thermophilic unicellular organism, which preferentially inhabits warm freshwaters like lakes, pools, rivers, or hot springs and soil. A rare but invariably fatal disease that was very first detected in Australia in 1965.

Deaths related to PAM have been regularly reported in Karachi since 2008. With the recently reported case of this year, the total count of cases has climbed up to 147 in the country during the last 14 years.

 

meningoencephalitisNIH issuesprimary amoebic