Parasitic infection: After nine naegleria deaths, official probe underway

Committee submits preliminary report prescribing ‘proper’ water chlorination.

Samia Malik July 25, 2012


An inquiry report on the recent deaths caused by Naegleria fowleri has been submitted to the Sindh health minister but only makes recommendations on chlorination.

A letter has been written to the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) asking it to ensure that the city’s water is chlorinated up to a satisfactory level. KWSB MD Misbahuddin Fareed rejected reports that they were skipping chlorination of Karachi’s water supply.

“We have sufficient quantity of chlorine and carry out timely and proper chlorination at all our filter plants,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune. “Anyone with any doubts can always come and visit our plants.”

The World Health Organisation’s Disease Early Warning System had confirmed another case of naegleria meningitis in Karachi on Wednesday, taking the number of deaths this year to five.

Dr Imdadullah Siddiqui, the director of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s medical services department, told The Express Tribune that the committee formed by Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed to investigate the causes of the waterborne infection has submitted its preliminary report. “We have made a separate cell that will monitor [the disease incidence] and add the data of patients,” said Siddiqui.

A health official, who is compiling data on Naegleria fowleri patients, said that reports are coming from different hospitals about more cases, but the department is not sure to add them, as their information is incomplete. “Basic facts like the patients’ date of admission, date of expiry, address and test reports are missing,” he said. “They could be small hospitals trying to get publicity, so we are not adding these cases.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.