Jun 26 , 2022
Naegleria: A Brain Eating Organism!
To beat the heat in summers many people go to beaches or pools to cool down and relax in the water but there lies a danger lurking in swimming pools and lakes that is not naked to the eyes. Naegleria fowleri, a single-celled amoeba, also called "brain-eating" amoeba, can be found in fresh waters.
What is Naegleria?
Naegleria fowleri, or Naegleria in short, is a minute protozoa that ranges in size from 8 micrometres to 15 micrometres, depending on its life stage and habitat.
Naegleria reproduces via cell division, just as other amoebas. The amoebas create dormant cysts when the settings aren't appropriate. When the circumstances are right, the cysts transform into trophozoites, the amoeba's feeding form.
What does Naegleria fowleri Do?
Infections with Naegleria fowleri are uncommon. The majority of illnesses are caused by contact with polluted recreational water. It has been noted that cases have arisen as a result of the usage of neti pots and the practice of ablution.
Islamic, Ayurvedic, and Yogic traditions all incorporate the practice of ablution. Nasal rinse is part of a cleaning procedure known as "wudu" or "ablution" in the Islamic faith, it is frequently done numerous times a day in preparation for prayer.
It can reach to your brain through the nose and cause primary amoebic meningoencephalitis(PAM), a fatal condition in which this amoeba eats up the brain.
Symptoms Of Brain Eating Condition
The first signs and symptoms of PAM generally appear 1 to 7 days after infection. Headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting are some of the first symptoms. Stiff neck, disorientation, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations are some of the other significant symptoms. The condition advances quickly once symptoms appear and those affected usually expire within days. Its symptoms are usually disregarded and considered as usual headache and fever or fatigue while the lethal amoeba devours the brain, eventually killing that very person.
A laboratory test of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, is commonly used to confirm naegleria amoeba infection. A spinal tap is used to get a sample of CSF, the procedure is called a lumbar puncture.
Where Is It Found?
Naegleria prefers water that is quite warm. It can withstand temperatures of up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit in water. Amoebas may be found in warm climates all over the world. N. fowleri may be found in the following places:
- Lakes, ponds, and rock pits that are warm.
- Rivers that are warm and slow-moving, especially those with low water levels.
- Swimming pools and spas that have not been treated.
- Well water that hasn't been treated or municipal water that hasn't been treated.
- Geothermal water sources such as hot springs and other geothermal water sources.
- Water that has been thermally contaminated, such as runoff from power plants.
- Indoor dust, as well as soil.
- Children's splash pads.
- Theme parks.
Naegleria is unable to survive in seawater. It is incapable of surviving in adequately treated swimming pools or municipal water. You can't become sick by drinking dirty water, either.
Naegleria In Pakistan
Naegleria was first found in Pakistan in 2008, a young 25 year old died immediately after getting infected. It has killed over 90 people in Karachi since then.
According to The News, the officials from the Sindh Health Department have reported the first fatality due to Naegleria fowleri-caused primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in 2022, in Kemari. The tiny creature that caused the fatal sickness had found a home in the city's overhead and subterranean water tanks.
Prevention From Naegleria
Water can be chlorinated to destroy Naegleria fowleri, however the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board has failed to chlorinate water correctly before distributing it to homes. Water provided by the KWSB was found to be contaminated with faeces in samples taken from throughout the city. Government officials should take strict actions and should provide clean chlorinated water to the people.
Dr. Essa Laboratory provides not only the diagnostic lab test incase of disease but the water testing services as well, where you can bring your tap water sample and get it tested. For more info visit nearest branch or call at 021-111-786-986