FLORIDA: Scientists have confirmed a rare case of a brain-eating amoeba in the Hillsborough County of Florida and warned the residents to avoid nasal contact with tap water.
The warning from the Health Department of Florida came after it was confirmed that one of the residents has contracted Naegleria fowleri or the brain-eating amoeba, according to a CBS report.
Naegleria fowleri, the microscopic single-celled amoeba, is known for infecting the brain tissues.
The disease is commonly called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). These microbes are found in warm freshwater and enter the body through the nose and travel up to the brain and the spinal cord.
Some of the initial symptoms of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and stiff neck.
As the amoeba starts to attack the brain tissue, one can also experience confusion, lack of attention, loss of bodily control, seizures and hallucinations.
Scientists say that Naegleria fowleri is found in warm freshwater such as lakers, rivers and hot springs, and also in swimming pools that aren’t properly chlorinated.
In order to keep themselves safe, the Health Department of Florida has warned people to avoid swimming in freshwater sources like lakes, especially when the water is warm.
The notice also mentioned that there have been only 37 reported cases of the amoeba in Florida since 1962.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only four people in the US out of 145 have survived brain-eating amoeba infection from 1962 to 2018.
“Adverse health effects on humans can be prevented by avoiding nasal contact with the waters, since the amoeba enters through nasal passages,” the health department said in its advisory.