Brain-eating amoeba” claims life of 14-year-old in Kerala -10 Facts You Should Know About Brain-Eating Amoeba

photo -henford senital
photo -henford senital

“Brain-eating amoeba” claims life of 14-year-old in Kerala, third death in two months :

 here are 10 Facts You Should Know About Brain-Eating Amoeba :

Brain-eating amoeba, scientifically known as Naegleria fowleri, is a microscopic organism found in warm freshwater environments worldwide. Here are ten important facts about this rare but serious threat:

1. Habitat and Transmission: Naegleria fowleri thrives in warm freshwater bodies such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs. It enters the human body through the nose when contaminated water is forcefully snorted during activities like diving, water sports, or even nasal irrigation with untreated water.

2. Infection and Disease: When Naegleria fowleri enters the nasal passages, it can travel to the brain and cause a severe infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This infection is rare but often fatal.

3. Symptoms: The symptoms of PAM typically start within 1 to 9 days after exposure and include severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and later confusion, seizures, and coma.

4. Rapid Progression: PAM progresses rapidly, with a median survival time of only 5 days from the onset of symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for any chance of recovery.

5. Geographical Distribution: While cases have been reported globally, Naegleria fowleri infections are most commonly found in warm regions, especially in the southern United States during the hot summer months.

6. **Prevention Strategies**: Preventive measures include avoiding activities in warm freshwater where Naegleria fowleri may be present, using nose clips or keeping your head above water when participating in water sports, and ensuring swimming pools are adequately chlorinated.

7. Limited Modes of Transmission: Contrary to some misconceptions, Naegleria fowleri does not infect people through drinking contaminated water or by being swallowed. Infection occurs solely through the nose.

8. Treatment Challenges: Treatment options for PAM are limited and effectiveness is often poor. Current treatments include antifungal medications and antibiotics, but their success depends largely on early detection and the extent of brain damage.

9. Mechanism of Infection: Once inside the body, Naegleria fowleri can rapidly move from the nasal passages to the brain tissue, where it causes extensive destruction and inflammation, leading to the severe symptoms observed in PAM.

10. Public Awareness: While cases of Naegleria fowleri infections are rare, increasing public awareness about the risks associated with warm freshwater activities and the importance of prompt medical attention can help prevent fatalities.

Understanding these facts about brain-eating amoeba is crucial for staying safe and informed when enjoying outdoor water activities, especially in warmer climates where the risk of exposure may be higher. Taking preventive measures and seeking immediate medical attention if symptoms arise are key to reducing the risk of infection and improving outcomes.

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