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Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba Case Reported in Florida

a computer generated illustration shows a brain-eating amoeba infection
(Science Photo Library via AP)

By    |   Monday, 06 July 2020 02:59 PM

The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a rare case of infection with the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, Newsweek reported on Monday.

The DOH identified the case in the Tampa area, although it did not reveal what condition the patient is in.

There have only been 37 cases of Naegleria fowleri in Florida since 1962, the DOH reported. Only four of the 145 known infected individuals from 1962 until 2018 in the entire United States have survived, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Naegleria fowleri, a single-cell amoeba that attacks brain tissue and is usually fatal, is contacted when contaminated water enters through a person's nose, and is found in warm freshwater, growing best at temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit, CBS News reported.

Symptoms of Naegleria fowleri include severe frontal headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms, which usually come later, include stiff neck, seizures,  hallucinations and coma.

Any signs of infection usually begin only a few days after swimming or other nasal exposure to contaminated water, with people dying within one to 18 days after the symptoms begin.

The DOH stated that "Adverse health effects on humans can be prevented by avoiding nasal contact with the waters, since the amoeba enters through the nasal passages."

Health officials recommend avoiding activities in warm freshwater and hot springs, especially during periods of high water temperatures and low water levels, according to Newsweek.

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The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a rare case of infection with the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, Newsweek reported on Monday.
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2020-59-06
Monday, 06 July 2020 02:59 PM
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