Sunday, July 26, 2015

Brain-eating parasite discovered in drinking water of Louisiana

Sean Waters in the Standard Daily: Naegleria fowleri, a deadly brain-eating amoeba is currently under investigations in the recent death of a Minnesota teen, following findings that the single-celled organism is now thriving in northern US waters due to help from climate change.

Climate change is causing the summers to get hotter at this period, and this amoeba is known to thrive in warmer waters of southern United States – according to Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. “Climate change may be playing a role,” Hirsch said.

And then the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the amoeba is “heat-loving.” Despite the fact that the Naegleria fowleri common in several US rivers and lakes, the chances of getting infected with it inside your brain are low, and the CDC said only 35 people were infected between 2005-2014 within the US.

The CDC further revealed that the deadly amoeba causes the amebic meningoencephalitis, an infection that destroys brain tissues. While people cannot get infected with the parasite by drinking contaminated water, it does get into the human body through the nose, from where it finds its way into the brain....

Histopathology of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri. Direct fluorescent antibody stain. Via the CDC

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