A teen girl swimming in a lake outside of Orlando, FL has died from an amoeba infection.
In the summer, warm bodies of still water can develop not just bacteria but parasites that can infect recreational swimmers and participants in water sports (have you ever had a bad fall on the water where it rushes up your nose? Perfect opportunity for infection).
One rare parasite (Naegleria fowleri), commonly referred to as an amoeba, occasionally crops up during particularly hot summers in lakes and pools in California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas. Although instances of infection are rare, they are almost universally deadly. The amoeba infects swimmers when water gets into the nose, giving the parasite a path to the brain.
Symptoms Of Infection By Amoeba (A Brain Eating Parasite)
Initial symptoms of infection start out as a nasal infection symptoms…changes in taste and smell, possibly nose bleeds, as well as headache, nausea, and vomiting.
The “amoeba” Naegleria fowleri begin symptoms of infection by “eating” red and white blood cells as well as damaging tissue. They then quickly infect the nervous system, causing a brain infection that leads to death usually within two weeks of infection.
Unlike many pathogens, Naegleria fowleri can infect otherwise healthy individuals. There isn’t a good medical treatment for this parasite infection, although research is being conducted.
Other Water-Born Parasites
Naegleria fowleri may be rare, but other water parasites infect more than 50% of US tap water and may be lurking in your favorite lake, river or pool (especially if the pool is weakly chlorinated, as with the trend for natural chlorination. It is healthier for your skin, but there’s a trade-off!).
To prevent infection by parasite, shower before and after swimming, and avoid ingesting (through mouth or nose) any water from pools, lakes, and rivers.
To help the body detox parasites, be sure to check out ParaClnz & DTx.