Rare case of brain-destroying amoeba confirmed in Florida
The Florida Department of Health confirmed a case of what is commonly referred to as a brain-eating amoeba in the Tampa area. According to the department, one person in Hillsborough County contracted , which is a single-cell amoeba that attacks brain tissue and is usually fatal.
Naegleria fowleri is contacted when contaminated water enters through a person’s nose, and is found in warm freshwater such as lakers, rivers and hot springs, according to the CDC. Its peak season in Florida is in July, August and September, the Department of Health said, and it grows best at temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is also possible to contract Naegleria fowleri in swimming pools that are not properly chlorinated, or contaminated neti pots. A person can’t contract Naegleria fowleri from drinking contaminated water, since it’s only contracted through the nose.
Symptoms of a Naegleria fowleri include severe frontal headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Later symptoms can also include stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status, hallucinations and coma.