oppn parties A Life Saved in Kolkata Despite Rare Disease

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  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
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  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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A Life Saved in Kolkata Despite Rare Disease

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Do you or anyone you know swim in fresh water ponds or rivers in Kolkata? Beware and stop the practice for the time being. A “brain eating amoeba” that leads to the rare disease primary amoebic meningoencephelitis or PAM has been detected in a child in the city. Although chances of survival are negligible, the Times of India has reported that in this case, a team led by Dr Sushmita Banerjee, paediatric nephrologist at the Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) acted with a great degree of professional efficiency and managed to procure a drug that saved the child’s life.

The amoeba, naegleria fowleri, breeds in fresh water, enters the body through the nose and then attacks the brain by feeding on nerve tissues there. It also multiplies very quickly. The Kolkata doctors had first thought it was meningitis, but conducted tests for PAM once the lumbar puncture reports suggested extremely high cell count and CSF protein levels and his family told them that he was a regular swimmer in un-chlorinated waters. Despite badly affected kidneys, the doctors managed to make him live by giving doses of Miltefocin, a new and very effective drug procured in haste by the West Bengal Directorate of Health.

This was only the fifth survival case for PAM in India. The doctors’ feat is remarkable when one considers that in the US; only four people have survived out of the 135 recorded cases of the disease. It also underscores the fact that in cases where chances of survival are rare and the patient is sinking fast, doctors have to use out-of-the-box medical techniques. All doctors associated with the case deserve kudos, as does the WB Directorate of Health, for cutting through red tape to save a life.