A recent article posted by PIX 11 explains that a patient in South Carolina has just been diagnosed with an extremely rare “brain-eating” amoeba, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The amoeba is called Naegleria fowleri and is thought to have been contracted by the patient on July 24th at Martin’s Landing in the Edisto River as part of the Ernest F. Hollings Ace Basin National Wildlife park.
A representative from the CDC confirmed that there have been less than 40 cases of Naegleria fowleri in humans during the past decade. Even though there have been few cases reported, the death rate is high. Infected patients may notice symptoms of the amoeba as early as the first day of infection. Typical symptoms include a high fever, nausea and vomiting. Patients may eventually slip into a coma.
According to the CDC, the best way to avoid the deadly amoeba is to refrain from entering warm, untreated water sources, especially unknown fresh water sources with very low water levels. If you do enter an unknown fresh water source, try to hold your nose shut or use a nose clamp to avoid taking in any water. In addition, you should try not to stir up or dig in any sediment close to warm fresh water to avoid exposure to the deadly amoeba. If you are swimming in salt water you do not need to be concerned about infection from Naegleria fowleri because it is only found in fresh water so far.