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Lethal Amoeba, Which Attacks Brains, Claims Three Victims This Summer

It sounds like something out of science fiction movie, but it’s killed three people so far this summer. The culprit is Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic brain-eating amoeba. 

This amoeba killed a 9-year-old boy in Virginia Aug. 5; a 16-year-old Florida girl two weeks ago; and a Louisiana man in June, according to the New York Post. The illness is causes is called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.

Naegleria fowleri lives in warm fresh water and enters the human body through nasal passages. It then travels to the brain “and feeds on cerebral fluid,” according to the Post.

The symptoms of this fatal illness include headaches, vomiting, fever, coma and “an altered mental state,” the Post reported. It is often misdiagnosed as bacterial meningitis.

The Centers for Disease Control determined that there have been 121 cases of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis since 1937 in the United States, and only one survivor.

Swimmers be warned: Avoid stagnant pools of water.    

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