KARACHI: Sindh health department has confirmed first Naegelria induced death of the year in Karachi claiming that concerned authorities have been approached to ensure proper treatment, with major focus on adequate chlorination, of the water supplied to the citizens.
Dr. Zafar Mehdi, provincial health department's focal person talking to APP here on Monday said Sohail Tabbasum, a resident of Gulberg died of the infection only recently.
Naegleria or the brain eating amoeba infection is caused due to amoebas found in untreated municipal water, untreated well water, untreated swimming pools and spas as well as in warm lakes and mud puddles etc.
Current showers and standing water on lanes and roads enhances the risk as the amoeba thrives in warm and polluted water, said senior medical practitioner Dr. Ahsan Samad.
Dr. Zafar Mehdi, however, claimed that needed measures were being adopted for naegleria prevention and control and that all possible sources in local context were being made for health safety of the public.
"Our focus is not only on municipal water but equal attention is also being paid towards swimming pools, spa as well as water parks," he said adding that rain water has been largely drained out from different parts of the metropolis.
"Idea is to ensure that people are in no way exposed to non- chlroninated or inadequately chlorinated water," emphasized the health department's focal person, reiterating that the peculiar virus can not survive in properly treated water.
In reply to a question, he agreed that urgent measures were needed for proper chlorination of water supplied to the Karachiites with equal attention towards adequate treatment of water that is used for bathing, face washing, swimming.
"In a nutshell water that can in any manner enter into nostrils
of the water users has to be treated and safe to use," said the health department's focal person.
About the committee constituted by the government to ensure regular verification of chlorine level in the essential commodity available in the metropolis, he said it is being reactivated.
Dr Zafar Mehdi said KWSB and all other concerned departments have been approached for the purpose.
Meanwhile, doctors have warned that Chikungunya virus with low-level activity in the country hold every chance to infect growing number of people, particularly during monsoon and post monsoon season.
Taking exception to poor hygienic conditions in the metropolis, they said the ailment transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes may take ugly turn.
Although rarely fatal, Chikungunya does hold debilitating effect on the patients, said Dr Shiraz Hadi, a practitioner of general medicine.
Chikungunya patients not only reported significant weakness but also complained of severe joint pain hence unable to resume their normal and routine life activity for quite some time, he said.
The doctor mentioned that there does exist a strong connection between the disease and poverty.
"The safest and most efficient mode to prevent the ailment is that mosquitoes must be stopped from biting people through elimination of breeding points," he said.
The senior medical practitioner also warned that there is every chance of resurgence in the incidence of Dengue fever as well as Malaria in Karachi.