An infection caused by Naegleria fowleri, better known as the brain-eating amoeba, claimed the life of a child in United States. The minor was swimming in a shallow part of a Nebraska riverthe preferred site of the amoeba, when it became infected.
According to a report from New York Times, State health authorities confirmed the amoeba as the cause of death of the child. Lindsay Huse, head of the Douglas County Health Department, confirmed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still perform tests on the body.
According to officials, the minor went with his family to Lake Elkhorn, located in eastern Nebraska. The boy was exposed to the amoeba by swimming in shallow water, the favorite haunt of Naegleria fowleri. Subsequently, developed Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitisa type of encephalitis that is fatal in 95% of cases.
This is how you can get the brain-eating amoeba
“The brain-eating amoeba likes shallow waters with little movement. They can live in temperatures from 20 degrees, but they prefer warm waters between 30 °C and 42 °C,” he told hypertextual Dr. Jacob Lorenzo-Morales, director and researcher at the University Institute of Tropical Diseases and Public Health of the Canary Islands (IUETSPC).
In case of being in recreational waters, people are at risk of contracting it by diving. Lorenzo-Morales mentioned that once found in the nasal epithelium, the amoebas migrate to the brain to eat it.
The IUETSPC researcher detected a brain-eating amoeba infection in a 10-year-old girl who caught it while swimming in a public pool in Spain. Unlike the American minor, the girl survived thanks to early detection de Lorenzo-Morales and other specialists.
Dr. Kari Neemann, of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said that the probability of becoming infected with this amoeba is greater when swimming in warm, shallow water.
What are the symptoms and what treatment is given
The symptom They manifest between one and twelve days after contracting it and consist of headache, fever, nausea, and stiff neck. As the disease progresses, the patient experiences seizures or hallucinations.
Brain-eating amoeba infections are rare. In the United States there are between 0 and 8 cases per year and there are only 154 confirmed since 1965. Although there is no curean experimental treatment with miltefosine and amphotericin B is administered.
According to Dr. Lorenzo-Morales, global warming would generate conditions for the amoeba to be comfortable. The best way to avoid an infection would be avoid swimming in shallow, stagnant water. Similarly, limit the possibility of water entering the nose.