The brain-damaging amoeba reappears in Florida

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The Florida Department of Health has confirmed a new case of infection with the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which usually thrives in warm fresh water, including ponds, rivers and lakes.

This infection is most often observed in the southern regions of the country and is mostly fatal, as the amoeba destroys brain tissue. Symptoms include high fever, headache, and seizures. The disease is quite rare – since 1962, only 37 cases of infection have been reported in Florida. But the death rate is very high: of the 143 known infections across the country, only four survived.

“The negative effects on human health can be prevented by avoiding contact of the nose with water, as the amoeba enters the brain through the nasal passages,” the health department said in a statement. It is recommended to use nasal clothespins when swimming in warm fresh water, and also not to swim in reservoirs located near thermal power plants, and in shallow water where the water temperature is high. Only boiled and chilled or distilled water should be used to flush clogged sinuses.

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