Naegleria Fowleri: The Brain-Eating Amoeba

MrRING

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http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/brain-eating-amoeba-claims-second-victim-month-161107259.html
‘Brain-eating amoeba’ claims second victim this month

By Zachary Roth


A parasite known as the "brain-eating amoeba" has claimed its second young American victim this month.

Christian Strickland, a 9-year-old from Henrico County in Virginia contracted an infection after visiting a fishing camp in his state. He died of meningitis on August 5.

This week, health department officials confirmed that the deadly amoeba--officially known as "Naegleria fowleri"--was to blame.

"Sadly, we have had a Naegleria infection in Virginia this summer," Dr. Keri Hall of the Virginia Department of Health, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch. "It's important that people be aware of . . . safe swimming messages."

Earlier this month, Courtney Nash succumbed to the brain-eating amoeba after diving off a dock into the St. John's River at her grandmother's house in Florida.

According to her mother Patricia Nash, Courtney decided before her death to become an organ donor. "I didn't get my miracle, but she has performed other miracles," Patricia told local station WESH. "If we can save other people's lives so they don't have to go through what I just went though, this could be a blessing in disguise."

Usually found in warm, stagnant water in freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers, the parasite "enters the nasal passages ... and migrates to the olfactory nerves, eventually invading the brain," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It almost always causes meningitis. Symptoms include fever, nausea, stiff neck and a frontal headache.

Thirty-two infections of the parasite were reported in the U.S. between 2001 and 2010, CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson told The Lookout, adding that infections are almost always deadly. That included two children in Phoenix who are thought to have contracted it through the domestic water supply in 2002.
 

MrRING

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Death toll up to three now:

http://news.yahoo.com/3-die-rare-brain-infection-amoeba-water-001505888.html
3 die of rare brain infection from amoeba in water
APBy MIKE STOBBE - AP Medical Writer | AP – 18 hrs ago


ATLANTA (AP) — Two children and a young man have died this summer from a brain-eating amoeba that lives in water, health officials say.

This month, the rare infection killed a 16-year-old Florida girl, who fell ill after swimming, and a 9-year-old Virginia boy, who died a week after he went to a fishing day camp. The boy had been dunked the first day of camp, his mother told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Those cases are consistent with past cases, which are usually kids — often boys — who get exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds or lakes.

The third case, in Louisiana, was more unusual. It was a young man whose death in June was traced to the tap water he used in a device called a neti pot. It's a small teapot-shaped container used to rinse out the nose and sinuses with salt water to relieve allergies, colds and sinus trouble.

Health officials later found the amoeba in the home's water system. The problem was confined to the house; it wasn't found in city water samples, said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana's state epidemiologist.

The young man, who was only identified as in his 20s and from southeast Louisiana, had not been swimming nor been in contact with surface water, Ratard added.

He said only sterile, distilled, or boiled water should be used in neti pots.

The illness is extremely rare. About 120 U.S. cases — almost all of them deaths — have been reported since the amoeba was identified in the early 1960s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About three deaths are reported each year, on average. Last year, there were four.

There are no signs that cases are increasing, said Jonathan Yoder, who coordinates surveillance of waterborne diseases for the CDC.

The amoeba — Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL-er-eye) — gets up the nose, burrows up into the skull and destroys brain tissue. It's found in warm lakes and rivers during the hot summer months, mostly in the South.

It's a medical mystery why some people who swim in amoeba-containing water get the fatal nervous system condition while many others don't, experts say.

But the cases that do occur tend to be tragic, and there's only been one report of successful treatment.

"It's very difficult to treat. Most people die from it," Ratard said.

__

AP writer Stephanie Nano in New York contributed to this report.

___

Online:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria
 

Yithian

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This gives me the fear.

There's a low risk of infection, but 97% infected die--most within 5%

Texas water resort closed, tested for 'brain-eating amoeba' after man's death
By Michael Nedelman, CNN

Updated at 2031 GMT (0431 HKT) October 3, 2018

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    • Test results are pending from water samples taken at BSR Surf Resort in Waco, Texas
    • This is the only reported case of this infection in 2018, CDC says
(CNN) — After a 29-year-old man died from an infection with what's commonly known as brain-eating amoeba, health officials are investigating the Texas surf resort he visited.

CNN affiliate KVTV identified the man as Fabrizio Stabile of New Jersey, who visited a surf resort at Waco's BSR Cable Park before developing symptoms in September.

"There have been no reports of other illnesses, and Naegleria fowleri infection does not spread from person to person," Brittany Behm, spokeswoman at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in an email.

"CDC is testing water samples for Naegleria fowleri and will be working with the local and state health departments on recommendations to provide the facility on how to reduce potential exposures," she added.

The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, can be found in warm bodies of fresh water such as lakes and hot springs. It infects people by entering the nose and making its way to the brain. There, it can cause a brain infection that the CDC calls "rare and devastating," known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis. It is almost always fatal, though a handful of people have survived.

Continued (including the victim's progression of symptoms):
https://edition-m.cnn.com/2018/10/03/health/brain-eating-amoeba-texas/index.html?r=https://edition.cnn.com/
 

James_H

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That's why they closed the bath at Bath.


I can't source this because I just read it on reddit, but apparently these are very common – they'll be in every shower you take, for example. However only a very small percentage of people actually get infected by them.
 

EnolaGaia

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This may be the first brain-eating amoeba fatality of the 2019 summer season. Note the statistical comment - 145 known infections in the USA from 1962 through 2018.

Brain-eating amoeba kills person who swam in NC manmade lake

North Carolina health officials say a person has died from a rare brain-eating amoeba after swimming in a manmade lake at a water park.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources said in a news release Wednesday that the infection was caused by the amoeba naturally present in warm freshwater during the summer. The unnamed person became sick after swimming in Fantasy Lake Water Park in Cumberland County on July 12.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it was caused by Naegleria fowleri, a single-celled organism known as the brain-eating amoeba. It can be fatal if forced up the nose. Symptoms start with a severe headache and can progress to coma.

Health officials say the amoeba is known to have infected just 145 people in the U.S. from 1962 through 2018.
SOURCE: https://www.apnews.com/f8210150a28445b9a1749e6956166f56
 

EnolaGaia

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Regarding the statistics on mortality when infected ... This 2016 CNN story about an earlier incident notes that the victim's successful recovery was only the fourth known recovery among US cases.
Rare recovery: Florida teen survives brain-eating amoeba

Sebastian DeLeon, 16, has survived a rare brain-eating amoeba, doctors at Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando said Tuesday.

"He's done tremendously well. He's walking, he's speaking, he went outside for the first time to get some fresh air -- he's ready to go home," Dr. Humberto Antonio Liriano, a critical care physician, told reporters.

It's remarkable because he is only the fourth person in the United States to survive an infection from this parasite, called Naegleria fowleri. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.cnn.com/2016/08/23/health/brain-eating-amoeba-florida-teen-survives/index.html
 

Bad Bungle

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I believe a brain-eating plasmodium featured in an episode of House a few years back - source was a contaminated sprinkler system for the patient's cannabis plants. Patient died, infected member of House's Team survived (both had been put into chemically induced coma to combat the pain.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's the story of a death in California dating back to last October (but publicly reported today), plus mention of a new case in Texas.

Boy Dies from 'Brain-Eating' Amoeba Infection Picked Up in Hot Spring

The rare infection has a 97% fatality rate.

A boy in California died from a rare "brain-eating" amoeba infection after swimming in a hot spring, according to a new report.

In October 2018, the boy swam in a natural freshwater pool in an area known as Hot Ditch, a popular recreational spot in the Eastern Sierra region of California supplied by warm spring water and frequently visited by local residents and tourists alike. Twelve days later, the symptoms set in. After two days of being racked by fever, headaches and vomiting, the boy was brought to an intensive care unit in Southern California, where he experienced respiratory failure.

A CT scan revealed swelling in the brain; when doctors sampled cerebrospinal fluid through the patient's lower spine, they discovered microorganisms known as Naegleria fowleri. The case was described today (Sept. 13) in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which is published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ...

The California boy died after three days of treatment in the hospital. The unfortunate incident marks the ninth case of PAM in the state since the first reported in 1971, and stands as the third case in a patient exposed to spring water, specifically, according to the MMWR. The infection is rare, but occurs most frequently in southern states and in young males exposed to warm waters during the summer. Today (Sept. 13), another case was reported in Texas where a girl named Lily Mae contracted the infection after swimming in the Brazos River, according to KWTX. ...
SOURCE: https://www.livescience.com/boy-dies-brain-eating-infection-hot-spring.html
 

EnolaGaia

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The following general facts were included within the September 13 article posted above, but in a manner which affect the overall article's coherence / readability.
N. fowleri, a single-celled organism found in warm freshwater bodies, can enter the brain only via the nose, according to the CDC. The amoeba cannot be contracted by swallowing contaminated water. Once inside the brain, the amoeba multiplies by feeding on brain tissue, causing an often-fatal condition known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). As nervous tissue is destroyed, the organ swells dangerously. Of the 145 known individuals who contracted N. fowleri in the U.S. between 1962 and 2018, just four survived the infection, wrote the CDC. ...

The CDC notes that testing a body of water for N. fowleri can take weeks, and that no faster test is available. People who swim in warm fresh water should take note of the low risk, but can protect themselves by preventing water from going up their nose. The risk rises slightly in times when water levels drop and water temperature spikes, according to a 2019 statement by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's more on the Texas girl's story (mentioned two posts ago) ...
10-year-old Texas girl contracts brain-eating amoeba while swimming

A weekend swim left a young girl fighting for her life when she contracted a brain-eating amoeba with a 97% fatality rate.

The 10-year-old girl swam in the Brazos River and Lake Whitney in Bosque County near Waco over Labor Day weekend ...

Then, on September 8, the girl "began having a headache, and it was quickly followed by a fever" ... Her family thought it was a viral infection at first, but after visits to the family doctor and the girl having trouble sleeping, the family knew something was wrong.

"She was incoherent, unresponsive and was quickly swept up and taken to the ER" ...

The girl was then flown to Cook Children's Health Care System in Fort Worth where a spinal tap found she had contracted Naegleria fowleri. ...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the amoeba is a single-cell living organism commonly found in warm freshwater like lakes and rivers. The amoeba enters the body through the nose, travels to the brain and destroys brain tissue, according to the CDC.

Between 2009 and 2018, the CDC says only 34 cases of the Naegleria fowleri infection were reported in the US. Only four people out of the 145 known cases survived between 1962 and 2018.
SOURCE: https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/14/us/texas-brain-eating-amoeba-girl-trnd/index.html
 
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