Morbid Mondays - Brain Eating Amoebas

Morbid Mondays - Brain Eating Amoebas

Today's instalment of Morbid Mondays I will be covering a creature so disgusting that it eat's human brains! You are probably thinking that I'm talking about zombies but this is something far worse as you can encounter this creature when swimming in lakes or by tainted tap water, brain eating amoebas. 

Brain eating amoebas

Now I have to confess that I can be quite the hypochondriac but how can this not terrify you? Known by the scientific name Naegleria fowleri infections caused by this single celled organism are extremely rare, but also extremely deadly. Since 1962 there have been 146 cases reported in the U.S. with only 4 of those infected surviving meaning you have a 97% likelihood of dying once infected.

Brain with the word info on scrabble tiles

Some fun facts about N. fowleri

  • N. fowleri likes to hang out in warm bodies of water due to the fact that it is able to eat the bacteria present in the sediment. 
  • Most infections with this amoeba in the U.S. have occurred in the southern states, particularly Texas and Florida.
  • Infection generally happens when swimmers inhale the paracsite through their nose.
  • N. fowleri invades the olfactory nerves and migrates to the brain where it causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.
  • This is why you need to use sterile water or saline when using a Neti pot.
  • Patients usually succumb to the infection within 5-7 days after the onset of symptoms which include: headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, change in sense of smell/taste, stiff neck, confusion, fatigue, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations.
  • There are no medications that have been proven to be effective against this amoeba however there is one showing promise. 

 Did you enjoy this post? If so, join us again on next Monday for the next instalment of Morbid Mondays!

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