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Muhammad Arham Tabish
Muhammad Arham Tabish
Beacon House School System Pechs Campus Karachi
The Brain-eating Amoeba: A Deadly Specie
Published On Jun 19th 2014
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This "Brain-Eating AMOEBA" known as "Naegleria fowleri" has claimed several innocent lifes since the last year, and now has approached Pakistan. Recently a 39-year old swimmer, Aslam Shiraz died a mysterious death in Pakistan. He was brought to the hospital by his family when they noticed some warning symptoms : exhaution, high fever and extreme headache as Aslam returned home from swimming.The doctors were stunned and confused about the strange cause of his death, by which they were unable to treat him and he soon died. This case seemed as the most challenging one for all the doctors. After alot of research, the doctors and a team of medical experts found that the death was caused due to a "Parasitic Infection" in the nervous system. Some doctors claimed that this infection was likely to be caused by a "Brain-Eating AMOEBA". Amoeba is a microscopic single-celled parasite which do not have a definate shape. It's formal name is "Naegleria fowleri". It was first discovered in 1965 in Australia, but now Amoeba is believed to be evolved in Pakistan, US and some other parts of Asia as well. These Amoeba parasites are usually found in warm bodies of fresh water for eg. lakes, rivers, ponds and hotsprings. It can also be found in warm water discharged by industrial plants, unchlorinated swimming pools and soil as well. Although it cannot be found in salty water such as in seas  and oceans as well as in chlorinated swimming water. Naegleria fowleri is a heat loving organism. It can grow best at high temperatures up to 46 degree celcius and can survive longer at high temperatures. That's the reason that Amoeba is likely to be found in warm water bodies. Naegleria fowleri (amoeba) infects people when water containing "Amoba Parasites" enters to a person's body through nose or mouth. The Amoeba then works it's way to the central nervous system, and once it's there it causes destruction. It damages our brain tissue by which the nervous system destroys and the person dies. It canot infect us by drinking contaimed water. In very rare cases, Amoeba infections may occur when water from other sources which contain this infection enters the nose or moth ( usually while swimming in unchlorinated water). It reproduces automatically and rapidly in warm water bodies.This Naegleria fowleri feeds on other bacterias found in the sediment in lakes and rivers. This infection mainly occurs during the months of July, August and September as these months are warm and suitable for this infection to grow. Nowadays, this infection is spreading throughout by the sources of water, but it is not contagious and rather it cannot travel into air or can attack food. It is only found in water and soils.The initial symptoms of this infection may include extreme headache, high fever, nausea or vommiting. Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, lack of attention towards people and surroundings, body aching, seizures and hallucinations. After the start of the symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within 5 days. Uptill now there is no effective treatment for infection with Naegleria fowleri.Although several drugs are effective against Naegleria fowleri. However, their effectiveness is unclear since almost all infections have been fatal, even when people were treated with similar drug combinations and other methods as well. But the most shocking news is that, recently 2 people with Naegleria fowleri infection survived after being treated with a new drug called " Miltefosine" which was given along with other drugs and aggressive management of brain swelling. This treatment was successful as the patients were treated immediately. It is recorded that almost 20 people around the world have died due to this infection in the last 10 years. 5 are from Pakistan, and only 2 of them survived.Posting signs based on finding Naegleria fowleri in the water is unlikely to be an effective way to prevent infections. This is because: -Naegleria fowleri occurrence is common, infections are rare.-The relationship between finding Naegleria fowleri in the water and the occurrence of infections is unclear.-The location and number of amebae in the water can vary over time within the same lake or river.- There are no rapid, standardized testing methods to detect and quantitate Naegleria fowleri in water. -Posting signs might create a misconception that bodies of water without signs or non-posted areas within a posted water body are Naegleria fowleri-free.Infection with Naegleria fowleri is rare.To be safe from this infection.People should seek medical care immediately whenever they develop a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, and vomiting, particularly if they have been in warm freshwater recently.SO STAY SAFE,STAY ALIVE.
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Comments 3
Rihab Good artice.veryyy also reminded me of the flare tho!heheeee Rihab
Jul 4th 2015
Muhammad Arham Thankyou Muhammad Arham
Jun 23rd 2014
Rabbia This is very informative article Rabbia
Jun 22nd 2014

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