Horror as Florida man dies of ‘brain-eating’ amoeba ‘caught from tapwater’

Use boiled water for your nose to protect your brain/Shutterstock Images

In a tragic incident, a man from Charlotte County, Florida, died after contracting an infection in his brain from a rare microorganism, the fatal Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The cause is suspected to be the contaminated tap water in his house that he used to rinse his sinuses with in a daily routine.

The brain-eating amoeba is virtually impossible to control and it lives in stagnant warm water and is otherwise harmless to humans unless inhaled through the nose—stomach acid kills it if ingested via the oral route.

The man died on 20 February and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has investigated the case to now release warnings.

Naegleria fowleri amoeba thrives in the absence of disinfectants like chlorine, but reports suggest that it can grow even in chlorine, which is alarming to swimmers and homeowners who use water heaters without good treatment measures.

Health officials are warning that individuals should take extra precautions with water going up their noses, whether through swimming, showering, or certain religious rituals.

Headaches, nausea, and vomiting occur in the early stages of the infection, seizures and death occur later as the bacteria attacks the brain.

This bacteria is rare but deadly. There have been 37 deaths in Florida since 1962 due to swimming in warm lakes and rivers. If infected, the chance of survival is almost zero, the mortality rate is 97 percent.

Florida health officials urgently recommend using distilled or boiled water to irrigate the sinuses.

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