‘Brain-eating’ amoeba kills Florida man. Know who's at risk, its treatment
The amoeba, also known as Naegleria Fowleri is a microorganism that destroys the brain tissue.
A man in Florida's Charlotte County died after being infected by a rare ‘brain-eating’ amoeba. According to Florida Department of Health officials, as quoted by AP, the infection was caused by sinus rinse practice by the man using tap water. The department had earlier issued an alert warning the locals about the amoeba, Naegleria Fowleri causing the microorganism to destroy the brain tissue, a rare yet fatal condition that is also known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
How does it infect?
Naegleria Fowleri is a single-celled microorganism that is found in warm freshwater bodies. It comes in contact with humans mostly when they clean their noses and sinuses with water contaminated with the amoeba.
It follows the internal pathway through nose till it reaches the brain. Following this, it start destroying brain tissues. However, the officials said this type of infection is extremely rare. "Infection with Naegleria fowleri is EXTREMELY RARE and can only happen when water contaminated with amoebae enters the body through the nose," the Florida Health Department said in a tweet.
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Headache, fever, vomiting, slurred speech and stiffness of the neck are some of the symptoms observed in this condition.
Also, a person will not be infected by drinking contaminated water, the department added.
What is its cure?
The treatment for PAM is given through a combination of drugs but there is no long-lasting treatment available so far. "Currently, PAM is treated with a combination of drugs, often including amphotericin B, azithromycin, fluconazole, rifampin, miltefosine, and dexamethasone," according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Similar incident occurred in South Korea
In December last year, a South Korean man died after being fatally infected by the ‘brain-eating’ amoeba. He was admitted to hospital a day after he showed some symptoms, however could not be saved.