Man is infected with brain-eating amoeba after swimming in contaminated lake

A man has been hospitalized in serious condition after being infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba. The protozoan entered the victim’s body after she entered a lake in Iowa, Missouri, in the Midwest region of the United States. The case was revealed by authorities last Friday (11) and was reported by CBS News.

The man jumped into the lake at Lake of Three Fires State Park in Taylor County. He began to feel unwell and was hospitalized, where he was diagnosed with primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. The infection, which is rare and usually fatal, is caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri.

As a result, the park was closed preventively. Health officials are now working to confirm the presence of the amoeba on the side, but investigations could take months. If confirmed, this will be the first record of the protozoan at the site.

The death rate from infection caused by the brain-eating amoeba is 97%, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of 154 people infected in that country between 1962 and 2021, only four survived.

On September 29 of last year, a child died in Arlington, Texas, USA, after contracting a brain-eating amoeba while playing in a fountain in a county park.

How does the amoeba enter the body?

The amoeba can enter the human body through the nose or mouth when contaminated water is aspirated. In contact with the human body, the organism lodges in the brain and ‘devours’ the organ, leading to death. Fever, headache, vomiting, intolerance to light and sounds are the main symptoms of the disease caused by the amoeba.

The parasite Naegleria fowleri is part of a group called free-living amoebas. It can be found in the environment, especially in pools and wet places or areas with water that is not treated properly, in the soil and even in dust grains.

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