Warning Issued For Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In Warm Freshwater

Naegleria fowleri warning sign
Photo credit © moose henderson / iStock / Getty Images Plus
By 98.5 KTK

If COVID-19 wasn’t enough to disrupt our lives, Florida has issued a warning to not enter certain bodies of warm freshwater after a Hillsborough County person was infected with Naegleria fowleri, which can be fatal.  The microscopic single-celled living amoeba can enter the body through your nose, can cause a rare infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) that destroys brain tissue and is usually fatal. The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals. Though there are only 37 reported cases with exposure in Florida since 1962, most have been fatal and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) recommends you and your family avoid water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater, hot springs and water around power plants. Hold your nose shut or use nose clips when in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, or hot springs to avid the potential of the amoeba entering your body. Also avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment. It's important to know the symptoms of infection if you've recently been in a warm body of freshwater. Seek medical help if you have headaches, fever, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, loss of balance or hallucinations as treatment must be swift. The peak season for this amoeba is July, August and September.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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