What Is Naegleria Virus | What are the Symptoms & Treatment?

A 30-year-old patient, Mustafa Shafique, died at the Services Hospital in Lahore Pakistan, where he has been brought a couple of days ago after a laboratory confirmed presence of naegleria fowleri in his body. 

Naegleria, another epidemic Along with the corona virus, there are also reports of the spread of Naegleria. Naegleria is actually the name of an organism. Naegleria fowleri is a single-celled organism discovered in Australia in 1965 that belongs to the phylum Percolozoa of the kingdom Protista. This single-celled organism causes a brain infection called Naeglerias, another name for which is primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

Well, there are many species of Naegleria but only Naegleria fowleri causes Naeglerias. This parasitic unicellular organism is about 8 to 15 micrometers in size. Naegleria is often found in warm water. It can live in water as warm as about 45 degrees Celsius. It is found in warm regions all over the world.

How does Naegleria enter the body?

Also called “Brian eater”, its normal diet is bacteria, but when it enters the human body, it uses the human brain as food. It often enters the human body through the nose to reach the brain, such as by ablution with Naegleria water, or by bathing in such water or entering a swimming pool, etc. May cause entry into the body.

How does Naegleria travel from the nose to the brain?

Our nervous system consists of nerves, which are spread throughout the body. These nerves use special chemicals called neurotransmitters to communicate with each other. Naegleria bacteria are attracted to chemicals and reach the brain through the olfactory nerves from the nose to the brain. These olfactory nerves carry the signal of a particular smell from the nose to the brain.

What does Naegleria bacteria do in the brain?

Naegleria bacteria enter the brain and secrete different enzymes, which destroy the brain cells. As a result of this destruction, the brain cells begin to die, which results in the activation of the immune system and the brain. It causes inflammation, which causes headaches.

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At the same time, this germ continues to increase its number and causes damage by going deep into the brain, due to which the patient has to face delusions, hallucinations and insanity. In this way, this bacterium damages the brain tissues so much that death occurs.

What are the symptoms of this disease?

Nigella’s symptoms begin within one to nine days (average 5 days) of exposure to the bacterium. Sens of its initial signs include headache, fever, vomiting, nausea, while its next symptoms include neck pain and neck stiffness, strange hallucinations, confusion, seizures, etc.

How long is the time between symptoms and death?

The patient usually dies within 12 days (average 5 days) of the first symptom.

What is the death rate?

According to estimates, the fatality rate among people infected with this virus is 97% (which is much higher than Corona).

Is there any cure for it?

So far there is no effective treatment for this disease. There are some drugs that work against these bacteria in the laboratory (in a test tube) but are not effective in the patient’s body.

When does this disease occur more often?

This disease is more common in the summer season (July to September).

Can this disease be caused by drinking water?

No, germs do not reach the brain by drinking water.

Does this disease spread from one person to another person?

No, under normal circumstances, this germ is not transmitted from one person to another.

How to prevent this disease?

The easiest way to avoid this disease is to avoid putting water in the nose.

Water should be boiled and used for ablution etc. Boil water for at least 5 minutes before using it. Cases of this disease have been reported in Karachi and have been happening for many years (since 2008).