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Florida resident dies of rare brain-eating amoeba in US

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Washington, July 06: Amid the survival against COVID-19, the country that marks the highest death toll worldwide with a number of 1,32,569, a person from Florida has been infected with a rare and usually deadly brain-eating amoeba, known as Naegleria fowleri in US.

The Florida Department of Health said one person in Hillsborough County had been infected by Naegleria fowleri.

Florida resident dies of rare brain-eating amoeba in US

This is a microscopic, single-celled amoeba that can cause brain infections, which are usually fatal.

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Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm freshwater. The amoeba enters the body through the nose and travels up to the brain and the spinal cord where it destroys brain tissue, causing the disease primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

The initial symptoms of this amoeba-infected disease are headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck, but once extensive destruction of brain tissue occurs, it can lead to confusion, lack of attention, loss of bodily control, seizures and hallucinations, according to the US Department of Health.

Till today, only four people out of the 143 people in the US known to have been infected between 1962 and 2016 have survived.

The Department of Health says people who experience symptoms should, "Seek medical attention right away, as the disease progresses rapidly".

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    "Remember, this disease is rare and effective prevention strategies can allow for a safe and relaxing summer swim season. Peak season for this amoeba is July, August and September", the DOH added.

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    The advisory comes from DOH to locals to avoid nasal contact with water from taps and other sources, including open bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and ponds.

    Victim's mother suspected her son was infected while playing with a garden hose filled with untreated water.

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