Health dept alert for prevention of naegleria

LAHORE: Advisor on Health Khawaja Salman Rafiq has said that Punjab Health department is fully alert regarding prevention of naegleria disease.

Addressing a meeting, Kh. Salman Rafiq said that various meetings had been held in Punjab Health department during last few days to review the situation after reporting of the case of naegleria disease in Services Hospital.

He said that six samples of water from the house of Azhar Abbas, resident of Walton Cantt. who died due to this disease in Service Hospital, office, mosque and other places had been sent to the Institute of Public Health for analysis but naegleria was not proved from these samples.

He said that a committee had been constituted headed by EDO Health Lahore which was monitoring surveillance and other steps regarding naegleria disease.

Kh. Salman Rafiq said the Health department’s team also conducted surveillance of the area where the said patient was residing.

He said the WASA as well as Walton Cantonment Board and Auqaf department had been asked for chlorination of their water supply, water ponds and water tanks of mosques so that ameba of naegleria could not breed.

According to medical experts, naegleria was nourished in swimming pools, ponds and open water tanks which was generally found in hot weather, he said and added the ameba caused manengitis in brain through nose.

The Advisor said that according to public health experts, prevention from naegleria was possible through chlorination of water and using boiled water.

EDO Health Lahore Dr. Zulfiqar Ali said that naegleria disease was also found in America and Australia, however, it was very rare disease in the world and only 150 cases of this disease had been reported in America during last 40 years.

He said this disease was diagnosed at a time when it was fully spread in the brain of the patient. He said high grade fever, vomiting and stiffness in neck were the common symptoms of this disease.

The EDO said this was not an epidemic disease and the ameba of naegleria reached to brain with water only through nose.

He said that generally ameba was not found in underground water but it was found in open ponds and water tanks.

Therefore, cleanliness and chlorination of water tanks and ponds was the important source of protection from this disease.

Secretary Health Punjab, Director General Health, senior officers of Walton Cantonment Board, Dean IPH, MD WASA, EDO Health Lahore and officers of other concerned departments attended the meetings.

Source: APP