Killer Brain-Eating Amoeba Are Lurking In Lakes, Rivers Across US; Disease With 97% Fatality Rate Doesn't Have Dedicated Medical Treatment

The killer brain-eating amoeba lurking in rivers and lakes across the US according to a report. Naegleria fowleri, which is found in fresh water in the US and another part of the world, enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain. The deadly disease is 97% fatal as the amoeba literally eats brain tissue.

This year, two cases of brain-eating amoeba were reported. One patient died earlier this month while another is currently hospitalized in Florida.

Representative image Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The patient is a 13-year-old boy from Florida who was initially diagnosed with meningitis.

154 Confirmed Cases Were Reported In The Past

Since CDC started tracking infections in 1962; there have been 154 confirmed cases on record.

Dr Anjan Debnath, a parasitic disease expert at the University of California, San Diego, told Daily Mail that the amoeba thrives in temperatures of around 115 Fahrenheit, meaning it will be most active on the hottest days of summer in states where high temperatures are not uncommon.

naegleria fowleri
naegleria fowleri, brain-eating amoeba Wikimedia commons

Amoeba Enters Through The Nose's Olfactory Nerve

Debnath stated that it enters through the nose's olfactory nerve, giving it a short and direct route into the brain. If water that contains the amoeba enters the nose then it will likely lead to infection.

Earlier this month, a Missouri resident died because of the brain-eating Amoeba. The person had a laboratory-confirmed infection of Naegleria fowleri.

The resident had primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a life-threatening disease that is caused by the microscopic single-celled free-living ameba 'Naegleria fowleri'. The infection of Naegleria fowleri is rare but very deadly, according to health officials, as in the past out of 154, only four patients could survive.

The resident was infected with Naegleria fowleri after swimming at an Iowa beach.

Water contaminated with brain-eating amoeba is safe to swallow as stomach acid kills the bacteria but if the water is ingested through the nose, it gives amoeba a clear route to the brain.

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