Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The U.S. reports a rare case of brain-eating amoeba via contaminated water

The United States of America (USA) has already been struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic for months, and the new rare case of brain-eating amoeba adds further trouble to them. The Health Department of Florida confirmed that one person in Hillsborough Country got infected with Naegleria fowleri by contaminated water that entered via the nose. It is said that there are only 37 cases reported since 1962 in Florida. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only four people out of 145 have survived in the US with the infection from 1962 to 2018.

What is this brain-eating amoeba

Naegleria fowleri, commonly called as the brain-eating amoeba, is a species of genus Naegleria, belonging to the phylum Percolozoa. It is a free-living, thermophilic, bacteria-eating organism, and further, it can be pathogenic to humans. It exists in 3 forms – as a cyst, a trophozoite, and a biflagellate.

Read Also: Coronavirus-infected cells grow more branched extensions than normal, new studies reveal

The infection may occur when the temperature rises for some periods of time; thereby, it will lead to increased water temperature and lower water levels. Also, heath officials stated that the peak season for the infection is July, August, and September. They advised people not to swim in freshwater sources like lakes, ponds, and rivers.

How it is deadly and what are the ways to control it

A microscopic single-celled amoeba is capable of infecting the brain tissues. The organism enters through the nose and proceeds to the brain causing Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM). People may die within 1 to 18 days after symptoms begin.

The clinical symptoms include headache, nausea, loss of body control, seizures, and sometimes hallucination. Persons experiencing such symptoms must be reported to the doctors immediately. Adverse health outcomes can be overcome by avoiding nasal contact with waters as the amoeba enters through it.

To prevent an unfavorable outcome, one must avoid doing any water-related activity like swimming. If it is not so, use nose clips to prevent the organism’s entry. It is all in our hands to remove or prevent any kind of infection in the body as well as in the environment.

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Source: Fox News

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