Brain Eating Amoeba

August 18, 2011 by staff 

Brain Eating AmoebaBrain Eating Amoeba, Christian Strickland, 9, led to a fishing camp during the day in Virginia earlier this month to fill some of the dwindling days of summer and enjoy time outdoors doing what kids love to do. A week later, on August 5, was dead – the third known victim of this summer meningoencephalitis, hired through a brain-eating amoeba that lives in lakes, ponds and other stagnant bodies of water when temperatures rise.

“He was playing video games for the brain is dead,” said the boy’s mother, Amber Strickland, the New York Daily News. It is disheartening to think that children across the country up to go to school, not be able to do the same, especially because he has some water in the nose. And it’s terrible.

Are the lakes that skiing, swimming, and really enjoy dangerous murderer full of amoebas? In some cases, yes. The amoeba that causes meningoencephalitis called Naegleria fowleri. Enters the body through the nose, kills and then travels to the brain. According to the CDC, can also occur in pools in poor or geothermal (naturally hot) drinking water sources.

Rarely, however, very rare. Between 2001 and 2010, only 32 cases have been reported in the United States. That does not make it much less frightening, although the thought of their own children.

I had never heard of such a thing until he moved to Florida several years ago. Its fairly well publicized when temperatures rise here that there is a danger, and heard several lakes is closed here and there. Alligators are enough to keep me out of the lakes for the most part, but unless it was quite cold, I will not allow my children into one. It is too disturbing, and it seems every year since I moved here, I’ve heard at least one case of someone dying from it, usually children. This year seems especially bad.

In addition to Strickland, in June a young man in Louisiana died of it after washing her breasts with tap water, and earlier this month 16-year-old Courtney Nash contracted the disease and died of it after swimming in a river in Florida.

There is no treatment, and although the risk is low, there is no way to completely prevent other than avoiding freshwater bodies in the warmer months. The CDC offers these tips on how you can minimize your risk, however:

Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperatures and low water levels.
Hold the nose shut or use nose clips when taking part in water related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.
Avoid digging in or remove the sediment while participating in water-related activities in areas of shallow, warm fresh water.
A lot of people enjoy the lakes around the country throughout the summer without problems, and certainly cannot avoid all the dangers in life. But when a nearby pool, I see no need to let my children take a risk on a lake … until cool enough you probably do not want to go anyway.

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