Man, 25, dies after contracting deadly ‘brain-eating amoeba’

Man dies after contracting brain-eating amoeba

This is only the second time the infection has been seen in Israel (Picture: Shutterstock/Kateryna Kon)

A man has died after being infected with ‘brain-eating amoeba’ in the second-recorded case of the rare infection in Israel.

The amoeba, known as naegleria fowleri, is a single-celled organism that wriggles into the brain through the nose and can cause a fatal infection called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

Unsurprisingly, it gets its name from how it feasts on people’s brain matter. People tend to die within a week or two.

Experts say it thrives in warm temperatures and is commonly found in freshwater, such as lakes, rivers and hot springs, as well as soil.

The man, who has not been named, was described as a healthy 25-year-old believed to have come into contact with the microbe while swimming at Gai Beach, Kinneret.

He was admitted to Sharon Hospital last Tuesday while suffering from fever, headaches and vomiting, the Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported.

The patient was transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikvah, with the hospital saying: ‘Medical teams used everything at their disposal, including drug treatments and surgical interventions in order to save the patient’s life, but his condition continued to deteriorate.’

He died Sunday, the hospital said.

What is ‘brain eating amoeba’?

Yeah, it’s as disturbing as it sounds.

Where is naegleria fowleri found?

Naegleria fowleri is an exceptionally lethal microbe that lurks in warm freshwater ponds and other bodies of water.

Lakes, rivers and hot springs tend to be where it calls home. But the amoeba can also be present in soil and hide in pipes connected to tap water.

Two cases have previously been linked to neti pots – ceramic or plastic pots used to clear sinuses. Water discharge from industrial plants is another known spot.

It’s not found at all in salt water.

How can I catch brain-eating amoeba?

Naegleria fowleri usually feasts on bacteria but brain matter is on the menu once its inside a person (Picture: Getty)

The nose is the main way naegleria fowleri enters the body.

Infection usually occurs in swimmers and divers, with water where the amoeba is present flushing into their nose.

But you cannot get infected by touching contaminated water or by swallowing it, the CDC says.

The infection also can not be passed from one person to another.

Does… it really eat your brain?

Most of the time, the amoeba happily gobbles up bacteria floating around the water.

But if a human is bopping around the water, and a rush of water flushes it into that person’s nose, it finds a new source of food: that person’s brain.

It moves up to the brain via the olfactory never.

The tiny creatures eat astrocytes – cells that carry out essential central nervous system functions – and neurons, destroying brain tissue.

What are the symptoms?

Early signs of infection – called PAM – can include headache, nausea and vomiting. These start about five days after infection.

These symptoms can be easily confused with meningitis, meaning it’s crucial people admitted to hospital tell doctors they …read more

Source:: Metro


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