An adolescent hailing from Ohio succumbed to a brain-eating amoeba recently.
A teenager who was on a church trip in North Carolina succumbed to the ravages of a brain-eating amoeba. She was just 18 years old and the disease which took her life was identified as primary amebic mengioencephalitis.
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This happens to be a unique and deadly brain infection. The amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri is responsible for this ailment, according to CDC. Mitzi Kline, director of communication for Franklin County Public Health, confirmed the presence of this fatal unicellular vector in the cerebral spinal fluid of the unfortunate teenager.
This amoeba thrives in warm waters and soil samples. It can be found in pipes as well. However, luckily it is not present in the oceans which have salt water in them.
The teenager’s death occurred after contracting this amoeba when his raft capsized. The responsible authorities have said that they did a proper job of disinfecting the water via UV radiation and chlorine treatment.
"The individual, Lauren Seitz, had visited the USNWC earlier in the month and the USNWC was therefore identified as a possible source of the organism," U.S. National Whitewater Center said in a statement.
"On behalf of the USNWC, I wish to express our sincere condolences and sympathies to Lauren and her family. The USNWC is committed to working with health officials and all organizations to investigate in all manners possible the circumstances related to this incident."
Sufficient steps are taken to ensure that 99.99% of the amoebas are killed from the waters. Now, the authorities are adding even more chlorine to the waters in order to make sure that no brain-eating amoebas manage to survive.
The law enforcement officials will be testing the waters soon in order to see whether the water authority claims carry solid status or not. While the ordinary person does not die from drinking contaminated water, if that water contains Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba enters the nose and travels all the way to the brain.
The results are not good. Such accidents occur when a person dives into the water headfirst or enters the water from a slide. Also swimming pools that have stagnant water in them harbor the amoeba. Sometimes, even heated and dirty tap water contains the deadly disease-causing agent.
Those people swimming in warm lakes or rivers tend to be the most vulnerable to this sickness. The brain-eating amoeba infections occur most often in the hot summer months and in the Deep South. It is not a disease that is liable to be contagious though.
Among the signs of the disease are: emetic effects, migraines, fever and nausea. These symptoms usually begin within five days of the onset of the malady, according to CNN. Within five days, the person dies. It is a rare infection.
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The precautions to take in order to avoid contracting this illness include limiting the amount of water entering the nostrils. Also avoiding water-based activities is a must. Finally, not digging or disturbing sediments in the rivers or lakes while swimming in them is mandatory.