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What is Naegleria fowleri, Brain-eating amoeba found in tap water in US city?


Team Udayavani, Sep 27, 2020, 11:22 AM IST

Authorities in Lake Jackson in US’ Texas have informed residents that brain-eating amoeba ‘Naegleria fowleri’ has been found in city’s tap water.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a water advisory to residents served by the Brazosport Water Authority warning customers not to use any w

Authorities in Lake Jackson in US’ Texas have informed residents that brain-eating amoeba ‘Naegleria fowleri’ has been found in city’s tap water.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued a water advisory to residents served by the Brazosport Water Authority warning customers not to use any water due to the presence of Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba, found in the water supply

Residents were also told to take other measures, including not allowing water to go up their noses while showering or bathing.

As reported by CNN, the incident started on September 8, when the city was made aware of a 6-year-old boy who was hospitalized with the amoeba. The boy’s problem was traced back to two possible sources: a water fountain “splash pad” in front of Lake Jackson Civic Center or through water emitted from a hose at the boy’s home

Representatives from the Texas Department of Health Services collected water and tested samples from the splash pad for the CDC, and on On September 25, three of the 11 water samples tested positive for Naegleria fowleri.

Naegleria Fowleri

Naegleria is an amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater  and soil. Only one species of Naegleria infects people, Naegleria fowleri.

It enters the body through the nose. The Naegleria fowleri then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue.

CDC claims that, the infection destroys brain tissue causing brain swelling and death. Several drugs are effective against Naegleria fowleri. However, their effectiveness is unclear since almost all infections have been fatal, even when people were treated with similar drug combinations

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