A man in Charlotte County, Florida, has died after contracting a brain-eating infection from tap water. The man used tap water for a sinus rinse which caused him to become infected with a rare amoeba called Naegleria fowleri that can cause a brain infection called amebic meningoencephalitis. The amoeba kills 97% of the people it infects and can only be contracted through water in the nose, and it normally lives in warm bodies of water.

The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County is “continuing to investigate how this infection occurred and is working with the local public utilities to identify any potential links and make any necessary corrective actions,” according to a statement. The Department is working with healthcare facilities to monitor any indications of additional infections.

The first symptoms of this disease are headache, vomiting, and nausea. As the disease progresses, the infected individual may suffer from cognitive issues and a stiff neck. The infected may also experience seizures. Severe swelling, and ultimately rotting, of the brain and spinal cord occurs. Infected individuals will die within five days of the symptoms first appearing. There are no known treatments for his disease.

Typically, only a few deaths from this brain-eating amoeba occur each year, often in people swimming in warm lakes and rivers. Most of these cases have occurred in Florida. This is the first reported case of Naegleria fowleri in the United States this year.

Anyone who experiences the following symptoms after swimming in warm lakes or rivers or after a nasal water exposure such as a sinus rinse should seek medical care immediately: headache, fever, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, loss of balance, and hallucinations.

Since the amoeba is rare and can only infect humans through the nose, the Department of Health has assured residents that the tap water in the area is still safe to drink. However, it is advised that water is boiled for at least one minute before it is used to rinse one’s nose, so any potential bacteria is killed. Additionally, local residents have been advised not to allow water into their noses while showering, bathing, or swimming and to avoid letting children play with sprinklers and slip-and-slides.

It’s important to note that the amoeba is not contagious and cannot be contracted by drinking contaminated water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Naegleria fowleri does not cause illness if swallowed.”

This incident is a tragic reminder of the importance of following safety guidelines when swimming, bathing, or performing other water activities. People should avoid swimming or diving in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.

It is also important to avoid swimming in areas where the water is stagnant or has a foul odor. Anyone who develops symptoms after exposure to warm freshwater should seek medical attention immediately.

Source: 100PercentFedUp


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