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A rare case of brain-destroying amoeba has been confirmed in Florida

The Florida Department of Health announced on Friday the confirmed case of Naegleria fowleri – a microscopic unicellular amoeba that can infect and destroy the brain. It is usually fatal, said the DOH.

Since 1962, only 37 cases of amoeba have been reported in Florida. This was found in Hillsborough County, although the DOH gave no further details.

Naegleria fowleri typically occurs in warm fresh water such as lakes, rivers and ponds. The DOH has warned people who swim in these freshwater springs to be aware of the possible presence of the amoeba, especially when the water is warm.

“Undesirable human health effects can be prevented by avoiding contact of the nose with the water because the amoeba penetrates through the nasal passages,”

; said the DOH.

The people recommended by DOH avoid warm fresh water bodies around power plants and shallow fresh water in times of high water temperature. You should pinch your nose when playing in warm fresh water.

The DOH also noted that if you flush clogged sinuses, you may be exposed to the amoeba through a neti pot.

“Use only boiled and chilled, distilled or sterile water to make sinus rinse solutions for Neti pots or perform ritual washes,” it said.

According to Florida DOH, 143 infected cases of amoeba are known in the USA. Only four survived.

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