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Karachi: Naegleria victim swam in farmhouse pool

On July 12, nineteen-year-old Rana Sharjeel lost his life to Naegleria fowleri. He had visited a farmhouse with his family a week ago and swam there. Authorities fear that could be where he had contracted the ‘brain-eating‘ virus from.

In response, a team of Sindh Naegleria Monitoring and Inspection Team visited farmhouses situated in Gadap Town and tested the quality of water there. The test results revealed that owners have not been adding chlorine to the water in swimming pools.

“In the first phase, we visited farmhouses in Gadap Town,” Sindh Naegleria Monitoring and Inspection Team Member Shakeel Ahmed told news media. They took samples and found that out that the water present in swimming pools carried either low or no chlorine.

The team learned that the pools haven’t been tiled properly, and the water present in most pools was quite muddy. “Not a single farmhouse had the test kit to check chlorine and PH level of water present in the swimming pool,” Ahmed shared.

According to a provincial health department official, the owners usually add chlorine through guesswork and this can prove to be quite dangerous.

“If you add more chlorine than the required level, then this may lead to burning of eyes, skin rash, or even sores,” Ahmed explained.

He said that owners of the farmhouses and their association representatives have been warned to ensure the required level of chlorine in the water in swimming pools otherwise strict action will be taken against them.

“All farmhouse owners have been told to ensure the required quantity of chlorine in water of swimming pools,” Gadap Town’s Farmhouses Association General Secretary Abdul Majid confirmed.

“We have given suggestions and guidelines to others owners so that they ensure water filtration,” Majid added.

Farmhouse owners have been instructed to ensure the presence of testing kits to check PH and chlorine levels of water daily and maintain a chart.

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