Health Officials Just Discovered A Rare Case Of Deadly Brain-Eating Amoeba In Florida

Health Officials Discovered A Deadly Brain-Eating Amoeba In Florida


Health officials in Florida shared some more grim news with regard to things and creatures that are trying to kill us. No, I am not referring to new cases of the bubonic plague – that was so two hours ago. I am talking about Naegleria fowleri, a single-cell amoeba that eats away at the human brain and is in most cases causes death.

Cases of people contracting Naegleria fowleri are extremely rare. Only 143 Americans in about 50 years has been infected by it, and only 37 cases of Naegleria fowleri in the state of Florida since 1962.

Of course, the one person that did contract it over the past few days resides in Hillsborough County, Florida.

If Hillsborough County sounds familiar to you that’s because it’s where the sheriff is currently looking into Carole Baskin of Tiger King fame and her missing husband Don Lewis.

According to CBS News

Naegleria fowleri is contacted when contaminated water enters through a person’s nose, and is found in warm freshwater such as lakers, rivers and hot springs, according to the CDC. Its peak season in Florida is in July, August and September, the Department of Health said, and it grows best at temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is also possible to contract Naegleria fowleri in swimming pools that are not properly chlorinated, or contaminated neti pots. A person can’t contract Naegleria fowleri from drinking contaminated water, since it’s only contracted through the nose.

Symptoms of a Naegleria fowleri include severe frontal headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Later symptoms can also include stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status, hallucinations and coma.

Here’s the best part: People who do get the brain infection the CDC calls primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), usually die within 1 to 18 days after showing symptoms and, bonus, the fatality rate of those infected is a whopping 99 percent.

Thanks again, Florida.