The first possible case of the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria has been reported in Lahore, raising concerns among the general population and the relevant health authorities.
Naegleria is a type of amoeba that can cause a rare but serious infection called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This infection primarily affects the brain and spinal cord. It is usually acquired when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, such as while swimming or diving in warm freshwater lakes, rivers, or hot springs.
First case of the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria has been reported in Lahore.— Healthwire News (@HealthwireNews) July 5, 2023
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A young patient has tested positive for Naegleria in Lahore. The presence of Naegleria amoebae was detected in a sample taken from the patient, most likely from a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) test. The positive test suggests that the patient has been exposed to Naegleria and may be at risk of developing PAM.
The patient was transferred right away to the Services Hospital in order to guarantee their safety and give them the proper medical attention. There is a good chance that this hospital has specialized equipment and staff who have experience treating infectious diseases like Naegleria infections.
According to the experts “the Naegleria fowleri is a free-living amoeba that causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a disease of central nervous system”.
“Amoeboid movement seen, possibility of naegleria fowleri”, says the report of the lab that also informed the government-run Services Hospital’s management about the results.
The patient had been displaying symptoms, such as a headache and fever, for the previous four days, according to the hospital's medical director, Dr. Ehtisham Haque.
According to him, “the patient's past is being looked into to corroborate the Naegleria condition”.
It was also told that the patient's treatment has been allocated to a team of senior medical specialists. Also, teams from the health department have each launched their own investigations in the interim.
Health officials have suggested that the public should use chlorinated water for domestic use to avoid the risk of contracting the fatally infectious amoeba.