Karachi neurologist suffering from Naegleria fowleri on vent, batteling for life

A Karachi neurologist was put on a ventilator after contracting primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, an infection caused by Naegleria fowleri, Sindh health department officials disclosed on Monday.

“Dr Majid, a neurologist, was brought to the Pakistan Navy-run hospital PNS Shifa after he was infected by the brain-eating virus,” a Naegleria’ Monitoring and Inspection team member Shakeel Ahmed confirmed to SAMAA TV. The ailing doctor was working at the same hospital.

He was moved to the hospital after he complained of severe headache and fever. His cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) test has confirmed that he had been affected by the brain-eating amoeba.

Ahmed said that the doctor resides on Sunset Boulevard, and a team has been dispatched to his residence for the collection of water samples. He maintained that the doctor used to get water from a tanker. Hydrant operators have been instructed to chlorinate water before providing it to people.

An advisory has also been issued to Cantonment Board Clifton and Defence Housing Authority to make ensure that the residents of Defence and Clifton chlorinate their underground tank.

“Samples of water have been collected from all Karachi Water and Sewerage Board hydrants to ascertain their level of chlorine” KWSB Chief Chemist Yahya Wasim Qureshi said.

However, he added that KWSB carries out sampling of water supplied at hydrants from time to time.

The brain-eating amoeba has so far claimed three lives in Karachi this year. All cases have been reported within a span of a month and a half.