4th brain-eating amoeba case this year now in Florida

Fourth Brain-Eating Amoeba Case This Year Now In Florida

By: Nathan Rousseau Smith, Buzz60

An unidentified patient in Florida is being treated after contracting a potentially deadly, brain-eating amoeba.

This is the fourth case of a person being infected with the parasite Naegleria fowleri in the United States this year. The three earlier cases all were fatal, including the death of an 11-year-old South Carolina girl in August.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health released a statement saying this latest incident was isolated, and there is no known risk to the general public.

"We believe that the individual contracted the infection after swimming in unsanitary water on a single private property," said Mara Gambineri, the health department's communications director.

People are most likely to come in contact with the amoeba while swimming in warm freshwater, like lakes and rivers. The amoeba enters through the nose and eventually travels to the brain where it eats away at the tissue, which leads to brain swelling and most times, death.

The symptoms begin between one and nine days after exposure, and are often confused with meningitis.

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention notes there have been 138 known cases of the infection between 1962 and 2015. Only three of the infected patients survived.

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