HOLIDAYMAKERS traveling abroad This summer, people were warned about deadly, brain-eating insects lurking in freshwater swimming holes.
At least two people have died from severe brain damage caused by amoebas after bathing in infected waters.
The latest victim died in Georgia, United States, after swimming in a freshwater lake or pond, health officials said.
The unnamed person was exposed to Naegleria fowleri, a rare infection that “destroys brain tissue, causes brain swelling and usually results in death,” the Georgia Department of Health said.
Earlier this month, a two-year-old child died after visiting Ash Springs in Nevada, hot springs near Las Vegas.
Naegleria fowleri is known as the “brain-eating amoeba” because it causes a brain infection when water containing the amoeba gets up your nose.
It spreads from the nose through the nerves to the brain, where it multiplies and destroys tissues.
When the parasite enters the body, it is usually fatal.
It is believed that younger people are at higher risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, four out of 157 people infected with the amoeba in the United States have survived since 1962.
The infection often occurs when people swim or dive in places with fresh water and warm water, such as lakes or rivers, the health agency added.
In rare cases, infections can occur from swimming in poorly chlorinated pools and drinking contaminated tap water.
Symptoms of infection with Naegleria fowleri appear in stages.
Stage one includes:
- severe frontal headache
The second stage symptoms are:
- A stiff neck
- clouding of consciousness
- a possible coma
For the best prognosis it is necessary to identify the error in the first stage.
At this point, however, the disease can be more difficult to detect and often mistaken for a less serious condition.
To avoid infection, the CDC recommends the following:
- Pinch your nose and use nose clips
- Keep your head above water when participating in water-related activities in warm, freshwater waters.
- Avoid water-related activities in warm fresh water during periods of high water temperature.
- Avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment while participating in water-related activities in shallow, warm, freshwater waterssimply