You've been exposed to an alien invader. Unbeknownst to you, that's made its way into your body by crawling through your nasal passages. By the time you realize you're sick, it's too late. The alien invader has already consumed half your brain. It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, but it's actually quite real.
Recently, an Ohio teenager died from Naeglaeria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba that loves warm water and that can be found all over the world.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the amoeba causes the disease primary amebic meningenocephalitis (PAM). Symptoms usually start about five days after infection and almost always result in death.
Symptoms of Naeglaeria fowleri include:
WHEN DOES INFECTION OCCUR?
Infection generally happens when you least expect it. That could mean a relaxing day splashing around the lake or taking a swim down river.
HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF?
Right now, the CDC has no way to lower natural Naeglaria fowleri levels in lakes and rivers. They advise everyone to always assume low level of risk of Naegleria fowleri infection whenever they enter warm freshwater lakes, rivers, and hot springs, especially in the south.
Here's what the CDC recommend:
More information is available by visiting www.cdc.gov.