The rare “brain-eating amoeba” caused the death of a Georgia resident, the state’s health department verified last Wednesday.
The anonymous victim had been infected with Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that attacks brain tissue, causes cerebral swelling, and typically results in death, according to a news release issued by the Georgia Department of Health on Friday.
Since 1962, this is the sixth incidence of the infection in Georgia.
Officials stated that the victim had been “likely infected while swimming in a freshwater lake or pond” yet did not specify which body of water.
A person can become infected if water carrying the amoeba enters their airway. It cannot be ingested and is not transmitted from person to person.
In less than a month, at least two verified deaths were attributed to Naegleria fowleri. A child perished in June from a brain-eating amoeba after visiting a hot spring in Nevada, according to state officials.
The investigators believe that the infant contracted the infection in Ash Springs, which is approximately 100 miles north of Las Vegas.
Symptoms and Indications of Naegleria Fowleri
A rare infection known as “Naegleria fowleri” destroys brain tissue, resulting in brain enlargement and mortality.
The amoeba inhabits mild, freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, and hot springs, as well as soil. It is not present in salt water, adequately treated drinking water, or in swimming pools.
Infections can cause a severe headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting, which can progress to a stiff neck, seizures, and coma, which can result in mortality.
Symptoms began approximately five days after infection, but can begin anywhere between one and twelve days after infection. Rapid progression of symptoms can result in mortality within five days.
People who swim may lower their risk of infection by controlling the quantity of water that enters their nose. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise against leaping or diving into freshwater bodies, as well as keeping your nose closed and your head above water.