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Naegleria; The Brain Eating Organism

Prevent yourself!

Naegleria; The Brain Eating Organism

Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba which is found in freshwater lakes, springs and hot waters. It is known to have a disastrous effect on the brain. Being an infectious agent, it eats the brain making all the senses getting lost one by one.

Mode of transmission

When in water, Naegleria travels through the nose up to the brain where it lives, multiplies and harms the host and after that, the host dies within a week of infection.

Symptoms

The symptoms occur within 2-15 days of the infection, and brain tissue damage starts. After that, the following symptoms prevail:

  1. Stiff neck
  2. Headache
  3. Fever
  4. Smell/taste sense modification
  5. Motional imbalance
  6. Hallucinations
  7. Seizures
  8. Loss of sensations

Risk factors

As the organism travels through water, major risk lies in swimming in freshwater lakes or pools having a slightly warm temperature.

Immediate care

If a person has swimming in the lakes or pool and feels stiff neck, headache, fever and altered sense of smell and taste, one must immediately seek medical attention.

Prevention is better than cure

  1. Always use nose clips when jumping or diving into warm bodies of freshwater.
  2.  Avoid disturbing the sediment while swimming in shallow, warm freshwaters.

Image source: biospace.com

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