Florida Department of Health has declared that a patient has recently been infected with Naegleria fowleri. There has been no further information regarding the state of the patient provided by health officials.
The dangerous bacteria is an unusual deadly brain-eating microbe, which was discovered in Hillsborough County. The origins of this bacteria are found in freshwater, and the infection is caused only when the patient enters in direct contact with water through the patient’s nose.
When entering the body, the microbe travels to the patient’s brain, causing primary amebic meningoencepalitis. At this stage, the patient’s brain tissue is damaged until there is nothing more left. In most cases, there is no chance of recovery.
The infection rate is infrequent since only 37 cases have been registered in Florida, beginning with 1962. Amongst the most infectious periods are July, August, and September because the waters of ponds, lakes, and rivers are warmer than during the rest of the year.
FDOH has reported that the riskiest areas are the Southern states in the US. Unfortunately, it is hard to determine why the number of infections is so low compared to the impressive number of people using the same waters across the country. This is why the governments all across the US have launched a series of measures to avoid getting infected with Naegleria fowleri.
Amongst them, an essential measure is to avoid water-related activities in the proximity of power plants and polluted water, or in warm freshwater periods, where water levels are low. Additionally, it is essential to hold the nose shut or make use of nose clips in any of the above-mentioned areas.
Should you experience headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, seizures, loss of balance, or hallucinations, it is necessary to consult a doctor without further procrastination. Considering the fact that the disease is progressive, the critical factor in combating it is getting help from an early state.
Doretha Kilgore is an associate editor for The Trending Times, focused on viral/trending stories. Before joining The Trending Times, she contributed to Vice, onlyWomen many others. She has a master of journalism from NYU. She is based in NYC, and can be reached via her email or our contact form.