Brain Eating Amoeba: Really Scary or Not; What Do Doctors Say?

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In an effort to raise awareness about the issue, medical professionals are afraid that rising water temperatures might lead to an increase in the incidence of brain-eating amoeba infections. The most recent fatality associated with the condition was a youngster who lived in Nevada. The brain-eating amoeba is a kind of tiny parasite that lives in warm pools of fresh water, such as lakes and hot springs.

What level of concern should we have about this brain-eating amoeba, and what should we take precautions against? Find out more about the matter, as well as some distressing findings, below.

Since we’ve experienced historic heat and water temperatures rising like hell, some experts believe that there will be an increase in the number of instances of brain-eating amoeba, despite the fact that these cases are extremely rare. It is not possible to contract it even if you accidentally ingest the water or if you have a wound on your body. The only method to become infected with the disease is to get water very deep into your nose by jumping or cannonballing into a body of water. They can get into the body through the nose and then make their way to the brain, where they can cause an infection. Although there have only been a few reported incidents throughout the years, a number of them have taken place in Arizona, most precisely at Lake Pleasant and Lake Mead.

An expert in infectious diseases at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Dr. Wassim Ballan, provided the following explanation:

This is definitely a concern, as are a lot of other infectious diseases. We are probably going to see a change in trends because of the climate changing and rising temperatures. So there is a lot of concern in the infectious disease community about a lot of different infections, including amoebic infections, becoming more common as the climate is warming.

It is also not a good idea to dig in water that is only a few feet deep since this disturbs the substrate in which the organisms reside. It is essential to point out that there have not been any instances reported recently at Saguaro Lake. As a matter of fact, did you know that there have only been 160 instances documented of the condition since they began keeping track of it in 1962? That indicates that it occurs relatively seldom, which is so unfortunate. However, according to Dr. Ballan, it is not worth the danger when there is such an easy way to prevent it.

Despite the low incidence of infection, this disease has a mortality rate of 97% due to the prevalence of its early signs. It is not until the latter stages of the disease when it has progressed to more severe symptoms such as hallucinations and seizures, that the condition is often recognized. Early symptoms often manifest within five days after the first infection and include the following:

  • the quick onset of fever
  • headache
  • stiff upper neck

Because the amoebas may only cause harm if they enter the body through the nose, medical professionals advise that rather than jumping or diving into the water, you might want to hold your nose or, for a better option, use nasal clips. There are just approximately ten instances reported each year on average. However, specialists claim that because amoebas thrive in fresh bodies of water, obviously warm water, they anticipate seeing an increase in that population as temperatures continue to rise.

Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.