HEALTH

Brain-eating amoeba claims another victim: tap water probable cause

A man who lived in Charlotte County, Florida (US), died after being infected with the rare brain-eating amoeba 'Naegleria fowleri'.

Officials from the Charlotte County health agency said the victim may have had his nose washed with tap water contaminated with the Naegleria fowleri microorganism, which is responsible for the deadly infection. 

This is a micro-organism that rarely strikes, but when it does, it usually kills. Last Thursday, the Charlotte health department confirmed that the infected person had died and officials are continuing to investigate the case.

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Another fatal case of Naegleria fowleri
A man living in the Charlotte County, Florida (USA), has died after being infected by the rare brain-eating amoeba 'Naegleria fowleri'. All major American media reported this.
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The infection
Officials from the Charlotte health agency said that the victim may have had some nasal washes with tap water contaminated with the microorganism Naegleria fowleri, responsible for the deadly infection.
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High mortality rate
Every year, there are only zero to five cases of infection in the country, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the mortality rate of the microorganism is over 97%: only four out of 154 infected between 1962 and 2021 survived in the US.
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What is the brain-eating amoeba
Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba, a single-celled living organism that can be found in soil and warm fresh waters such as lakes, rivers and hot springs throughout the United States. Commonly referred to as the 'brain-eating amoeba', it can cause brain infections, which typically occur when water containing amoeba rises through the nose, for example by swimming.
photo wikipedia
Past cases
From 1962 to 2021, only four out of every 154 people in the US survived a brain-eating amoeba infection, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Just last year, a boy died, infected after swimming in Lake Mead (pictured). 'Basically, you have to forcefully push water through your nose to contract this disease, it's a very strange way to contract it,' said Florida Department of Health spokesperson Jae Williams. 'It's common in fresh water, particularly stagnant water that heats up in the sun".
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