World Bulletin / News Desk
A brain-eating amoeba has killed at least 10 people in Pakistan's most populous city since May, a World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.
Naegleria fowleri has a fatality rate of more than 98 percent. It is transmitted when contaminated water enters the body through the nose and cannot be passed person-to-person.
The 10 confirmed cases have all occurred in the southern port city of Karachi, said Dr Musa Khan, head of the WHO's Disease Early Warning System in Pakistan.
It is unclear if all cases have been reported as residents may not be familiar with the disease and Pakistan's hospitals are severely overstretched.
The amoeba travels from the nasal membranes to the brain. Symptoms are initially very mild, including a headache, stiff neck, fever and stomach pain. Death usually occurs five to seven days after infection.
Authorities are planning a campaign to raise awareness among health workers and the public, Khan said. Most health centres had already been alerted, he said.
"People should avoid getting water too deep into their nostrils and make sure their water supply is properly treated," he said. "Those with symptoms should seek help immediately."
Victims commonly catch it through swimming in infected water, but Khan said most of those who died did not have a history of swimming. Authorities were testing water from various parts of the city, he said.
The disease first surfaced in Karachi, a city of 18 million people, in 2006. This year's outbreak has been the first since then and the most recent deaths occurred last week.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said on its web site that in the 10 years from 2002 to 2011, 32 infections were reported in the United States.
A trilateral pledge will see a jump from the current collective clean power levels of about 37% to 50% by 2025
Around 6.5 million deaths globally are attributed each year to poor air quality inside and outside, making it the world's fourth-largest threat to human health, behind high blood pressure, dietary risks and smoking
New World Drug Report research identifies heroin as deadliest drug
Zika has caused alarm throughout the Americas since cases of the birth defect microcephaly were reported in Brazil, the country hardest hit by the outbreak
Philadelphia has become the first big city in the US to place a tax on soda to tackle the obesity crisis
Average global temperatures startlingly higher than normal between March-May
Government study provides strongest evidence of cell phone health effects
The reason for the high-level threat in the area is the presence there of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carry the Zika virus that health authorities say causes birth defects in newborns
Three-day African Utility Week conference begins in South African city of Cape Town
More than two thousand activists came together to close an opencast coal mine in Germany.
New federal rules unveiled on Thursday will tackle the release of the greenhouse gas methane from oil wells and equipment as part of an effort to fight climate change.
At least five reef islands in the remote Solomon Islands have been lost completely to sea level rise and coastal erosion
Heads of UN, Work Bank lay out vision to deal with climate change
Turkish environment minister signs historic agreement in New York against taking action against climate change
Human defense mechanisms could be disrupted by the presence of a class of organic pollutants in fish and other food, according to new research.