August 18, 2022


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He had bathed in a lake: an American died of a “brain-eating” amoeba

A Missouri resident died earlier this month after contracting a brain-eating amoeba in an Iowa lake.

After spending days in intensive care, a man contracted a “brain-eating” amoeba while swimming in a lake in southwestern Iowa’s Taylor County and died in early July.

This Missouri native died of an infection of the central nervous system caused by an amoeba (primary amoebic meningoencephalitis). Nagleria foleri*detected in water.

“She can attach herself and crawl through your olfactory nerve.”

The Missouri Department of Health, where he died, has withheld further information about the victim out of respect for his family’s privacy.

“Imagine you’re jumping into a lake, and there’s water up your nose. Well, if that amoeba is in that water, it attaches itself and crawls into your olfactory nerve and into your brain.“, explains Mike Pendella, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa quoted Radio Iowa.

155e Sufferer in 60 years

Fatal infections from such parasites are rare in the United States. The death toll is 155e Only four victims since 1962 have survived.

The site, which has been closed to the public since the contamination was confirmed on July 6, reopened to the public on Thursday. Signs have been installed about the presence of killer amoeba in the water. Swimming is allowed subject to certain guidelines.

* Amoeba is a cellular microorganism, i.e. an organism made up of a single cell that moves by disintegrating and exuding membrane extensions (pseudopodia). Non-pathogenic free-living amoebae of the genus Nagleria fowleri (N. fowleri) lives in fresh water and wet soil and can develop in water systems (drinking water, cold water) depending on environmental temperature and nutrient conditions and is responsible for meningoencephalitis primitive amoeba. A small number of cases of this infection have been reported internationally. It is a serious pathology that often results in death (in 95% of cases). She was named the brain-eating amoeba.
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