A Charlotte County, Florida man has died after contracting a brain-eating infection from tap water.
100% fed up reports – The man, who has not been named, used tap water for a sinus rinse which led to him becoming infected with a rare amoeba called Naegleria fowleri which can cause a brain infection called amoebic meningoencephalitis.
In a statement from the Department of Health-Charlotte, they said they “continue to investigate how this infection occurred and are working with local utilities to identify any potential links and take corrective action as necessary. “.
The first symptoms of this disease are headaches, vomiting and nausea. As the disease progresses, the infected person may experience cognitive problems and a stiff neck. Infected people may also have seizures.
Severe swelling, and eventually rotting, of the brain and spinal cord occurs.
Those infected will die within five days of the first symptoms appearing.
There is no known treatment for his disease.
This amoeba, which kills 97% of people it infects, can only be contracted by water in the nose and normally lives in warm bodies of water. Stomach acid is strong enough to kill the amoeba; therefore, the nose is the only path the amoeba can take that will prove fatal.
This is the first reported case of Naegleria fowleri in the United States this year. Typically, only a few deaths from this brain-eating amoeba occur each year, often in people swimming in warm lakes and rivers.
Most of these cases have occurred in Florida.
The Department works with health facilities to monitor for any indication of additional infections.
Anyone who experiences the following symptoms after swimming in warm lakes or rivers or after nasal exposure to water, such as sinus flushing, should seek immediate medical attention:
Loss of equilibrium
Since the amoeba is rare and can only infect humans through the nose, the Health Ministry has assured residents that tap water in the area is still safe to drink.
However, it is advisable to boil the water for at least a minute before using it to rinse your nose, so that any potential bacteria are killed. Additionally, local residents have been advised not to let water enter their noses while showering, bathing or swimming and to avoid letting children play with sprinklers and slides.