Florida Health Services Issues Warning After Resident Is Infected With Rare Brain Eating Disease
Florida health officials have revealed that a person has been infected with a rare and usually deadly brain-eating amoeba.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
According to the Department of Health, the patient contracted Naegleria fowleri in Hillsborough County.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic single-celled living amoeba, the department said in a statement on Friday.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
The amoeba can cause a rare infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) that destroys brain tissue and is usually fatal.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
According to health officials, the amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Infections can happen when contaminated water enters the body through the nose.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Once the amoeba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
'It is essential to seek medical attention right away, as the disease progresses rapidly after the start of symptoms,' the health department said.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Those symptoms include headaches, fever, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, loss of balance or hallucinations after swimming in warm water.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
Officials said this type of infection usually occurs when temperatures increase for prolonged periods of time. The peak season for this amoeba is July, August and September.(Wapbaze_Copyright)
While the amoeba is found in many freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers, health officials said it is more common in southern states.
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