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Brain-eating Amoeba Enters the Brain from the Human Nasal Cavity


Experts decrypt the brain-eating Amoeba Invaded the Brain from the Human Nasal Cavity

According to the National Geographic website, the United States recently confirmed the second case of infection with Naegleria fowleri (scientific name: Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as brain-eating amoeba). This deadly parasite can invade the brain from the nasal cavity of the human body, causing inflammation of the brain tissue and extremely high mortality.


A few weeks ago, in Little Rock City, Arkansas, USA, a 12-year-old girl was infected with Negril flexneri after swimming in a sandy bottom lake.

The Florida Department of Health announced that A 12-year-old boy in Glades County in the state has also been confirmed to be infected with this amoeba. According to the boy’s family, the boy had played kneeboard water skiing in a ditch near his home before the infection.


  Negri flexneri amoeba can cause parasitic meningitis, that is, native amoebic meningitis (PAM). The amoeba is a protozoan and usually feeds on bacteria and lives in the sediments of warm lakes or ponds. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most patients who are attacked by this amoeba will die after about 5 days. Since 1962, there has only been one survivor in the United States. 

Tom Bonner, a spokesperson for the Arkansas Children's Hospital, told the media that the 12-year-old girl who was hospitalized last month is now recovering well and has been transferred from the intensive care unit.


   In order to learn more about Negria fowleri, National Geographic contacted Jonathan Yoder, an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jonathan Youde collected and analyzed a lot of data about the Amoeba Freundii, and he answered the following questions.


How does Negri flexneri infect humans?

   Under certain specific conditions, the Amoeba can grow flagella. This structure allows it to move quickly and find a more suitable living environment. When people swim in warm fresh water, if the water contains Naegleria flexneri, it may invade the brain through the human nasal cavity.


   Infection with Naegleria flexneri can cause headache, neck stiffness, nausea and vomiting, and may cause more serious consequences. From the amoeba invasion to the onset of disease, the infection usually causes a coma or even death in about five days.


Where do Brain Eating Amoeba Exist?

  We can find them in warm fresh water or in water that has only undergone minimal chlorination and disinfection. If you go to some warm states to collect water samples, you will find that this amoeba is actually not uncommon.


Can Brain Eating Amoeba Survive in a Swimming Pool?

   In the United States, the presence of Negril flexneri has not been found in a well-maintained swimming pool. Filter purification and chlorination disinfection, as well as other disinfection and sterilization methods can reduce or eliminate the risk of infection. 

However, there are some surprising examples. For example, about ten years ago, a child in Arizona was unfortunately infected and eventually died while swimming in a pool. The water in the pool was taken from a geothermal hot spring, but it was not disinfected.


Image showing Brain-eating Amoeba Enters the Brain from the Human Nasal Cavity
Brain Eating Amoeba through Nasal Cavity

Will Negri flexneri infection cases become more common?

   We do not have data to show that cases of Negri flexneri infection are becoming more common. In the past few years, there have been about 4 to 5 cases each year. 

The changes in recent years are mainly reflected in the cases where infections have not occurred before, such as Minnesota, Indiana and Kansas. This shows that the distribution range of Negril flexneri has expanded a lot to the north. In the past, they mainly appeared in warm states.


Why do Negri flexneri amoeba enter the brain nasal cavity of some people, but not others?

   This question is very good, but we still don’t know the answer. Millions of people swim in the same body of water every year, but in the end they are safe. Therefore, it is difficult for us to determine who will be infected. In theory, it can infect anyone.


What is the chance of surviving after Negri flexneri Amoeba infection?

   Since 1962, we have recorded 128 cases of Negri flexneri amoeba infection, but only one person survived, not including the current case. 

In 1978, a patient survived after antibiotic treatment, but in other patients, the same treatment did not work.


 How do we ensure safety from Brain Eating Amoeba?

   If people want to reduce the risk of infection, although the infection itself is very rare, then all that is to be done is to close the nasal cavity or wear a nose clip when swimming in warm, unsterilized fresh water. 

Keep your head above the water in hot springs or other heated water bodies, and when participating in other water sports activities. 

In addition, to reduce the risk of infection, we must pay attention to avoid disturbing the sedimentary layer of lakes or ponds, where amoeba mainly lives.


This is a very unfortunate experience for the infected people and their families. Although this kind of thing happens very rarely every year, we still feel it is very important to learn more.

After washing her nose with tap water, a hole in her brain was eaten by the amoeba

Normally, the water used to clean the nasal cavity must be normal saline or sterile water, but this grandma uses tap water directly. She didn't boil the water, she only filtered it with a water filter and poured it directly into her nose.


Many patients with chronic sinusitis clean their nasal cavity to relieve their symptoms, but just last year, a 69-year-old woman in the United States lost her life.


Normally, the water used to clean the nasal cavity must be normal saline or sterile water, but this grandma uses tap water directly. She didn't boil the water, she only filtered it with a water filter and poured it directly into her nose.

Many people like to clean their noses with Neti Pot.

It was only a year later that people learned that amoeba may be hidden in the seemingly clear water, which can invade the brain and cause fatal infections in a few weeks to months.

In this case, the baboon Baramshi Amoeba has a fatality rate of over 89%.


Once inside her body, the amoeba tightened the rope of death step by step. At first, the bridge of her nose appeared red and swollen. After that, her left half of her body began to tremble, and then her left arm did not listen. 

The CT scan showed abnormal lesions in her brain, and her condition deteriorated rapidly in the next few days.


After a year of torture, this lady finally passed away. People opened her skull to examine the brain, only to find that the brain had been eaten out of a hole the size of a golf ball by the amoeba. And the beginning of this horror scene is the tap water we are most used to. 

Many medical cases will tell you that crises in life are actually everywhere. 

Last year, the British Medical Journal reported such a case. A 42-year-old woman had eyes swollen for six months. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) showed that her eyelid had a cyst. 

After the operation, the doctors were taken aback. This turned out to be a contact lens that had been in the eye for 28 years. 

Also in 2018, a 10-year-old boy in Kansas, USA, accidentally fell while playing in a tree house and was directly pierced with a skull by a barbecue skewer. This seemed a fatal disaster, but fortunately, he miraculously survived. This in the end is why? Click in and take a look?

Life is risky, it is really necessary to install a water purifier.

The terrible brain-eating amoeba drilled into the human brain from the nasal cavity, eating stellate cells and neurons 

According to news from CNN, brain-eating amoeba was found in the tap water supply systems of eight cities in Texas in the United States on Friday night. Relevant departments have issued an announcement prohibiting water use.

Jackson Lake has also issued a disaster statement urging Residents should not use tap water until the Water Affairs Bureau has completed adequate flushing of the water supply system.


The disaster began on September 8 when a 6-year-old boy was hospitalized with amoeba protozoa and died. The source is suspected to be a fountain in front of the Jackson Lake Civic Center or a water pipe at home. 

After sampling and testing, the poultry Naegleria fowleri (Naegleria fowleri) was found in the water samples of the fountain. 

The relevant department immediately issued a notice of prohibition of water use and decided to clean up the water supply system in three days. During this period, citizens can get a box of water for free.


What exactly is Negril Amoeba, and why is it so discolored?

Negril flexneri is the common name of brain-eating amoeba. It is a single-celled protozoan, only 10 to 30 microns. It exists in three forms during its life cycle, namely, cystic, class Amoeba and flagellates.


When the surrounding environment is suitable for survival, the brain-eating amoeba will exist in the form of amoeba-like, roaming in the soil or water to find bacteria for food. This may be because it is not technically amoeba, but it is It is believed to be the cause of the amoeba;


   When the surrounding environment is not very friendly, the brain-eating amoeba will grow flagella, which turns into a flagellate;


   When the environment is extremely harsh, such as insufficient food, accumulation of waste, dryness or low temperature, the brain-eating amoeba will become a cyst to survive the hardship.


   Brain-eating amoeba likes a humid and hot environment. It is commonly found in warm water above 25 degrees and has the strongest fertility at 42 degrees. 

Brain-eating amoeba enters the human body mainly through the nasal cavity, penetrates the nasal mucosa and drills into the brain following the olfactory nerve, causing Negri Amoeba Meningoencephalitis, which mainly feeds on the stellate cells and neurons of the brain. The most frightening thing is that this disease has only a very short golden time to treat, and the death rate after infection is more than 95%. 

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a total of 145 people were infected with brain-eating amoeba from 1962 to 2018, with only 4 survivors.


What are the symptoms of Brain Eating Amoeba Infection?

Symptoms of brain-eating amoeba infection include headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting, followed by back pain, changes in taste and smell, confusion, hallucinations, loss of balance, seizures and other meningitis symptoms, usually 3 to 3 after infection 7 days to accelerate development, 7 to 14 days will die.

Because the brain-eating amoeba is infected through the nasal cavity, drinking water with pathogens will not cause infection, and it only appears in warm fresh water, so you should usually play in hot springs, geothermal well water, industrial warm water, swimming pools, etc. 

Pay special attention not to let water enter the nasal cavity. It should be taken seriously when symptoms of viral or bacterial meningitis appear, because these symptoms are difficult to distinguish.



   Of course, brain-eating amoeba infections rarely occur and are not contagious. There are fewer cases reported worldwide, so there is no need to cause panic. 


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