Brain-Eating Amoeba Can Prove Fatal – Water-Borne Infection

A rare brain-eating amoeba (Naegleria fowleri) caused death of a man in Florida, US; the victim likely acquired the infection due to practicing sinus rinse with tap water. 

This organism is commonly found in unfiltered water, soil, and dust. Dr. Shrey Srivastav, MD (internal medicine), Sharda Hospital, confirmed, “The infection damages brain tissue”. Dr. Sudhir Kumar elaborated that this a free-living amoeba that infects the brain and the meninges causing meningoencephalitis. This is a fatal disease; a definitive cure is lacking.

Contaminated water from water tanks is a common source. Water from ponds, swimming pools, lakes, or rivers may also harbor such organisms. The primary route of infection is through the nostrils – during nasal rinsing or swimming.

Although this infection rarely occurs on nasal rinsing, caution must be practiced to use only distilled, boiled, or sterilized water for such practices.


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