There is another case of a lethal infection due to the so-called brain-eating amoeba. After several cases have been reported this summer in the United States, a new one emerges in New York. A teenage girl was infected with the deadly amoeba, and specialists believe she came in contact with it after swimming in a Maryland river.
The victim’s name is Kerry Stoutenburgh, and she was 19. She was a Brooklyn College student and wanted to become a filmmaker. She died on August 31, two days after she was taken to the hospital. Her family said that she had a high fever, and started to dehydrate.
Kerry Stoutenburgh swam in the Octoraro Creek and the North East Creek. It is estimated that the contact happened on August 20, according to the girl’s father.
It seems like the warm waters of the river hosted the deadly amoeba. The only way the bacterium can reach the human organism is by inhaling it through the nose. It is a dangerous infection because the bacterium can travel from the sinuses to the brain. There it produces severe damages by causing inflammation to the brain. This also can lead to an incoherent behavior for the victim.
The symptoms of the infection with this deadly amoeba appear in about five days after being exposed to it, according to specialists. Sometimes it can operate very fast and get to the brain. However, doctors talk about cases in which the bacteria can die in the human body before reaching its target. Such cases are lucky ones because there is no other danger for the person.
The brain-eating amoeba is scientifically called Naegleria fowleri, and the species belongs to the genus Naegleria. It can only be found in warm waters, such as rivers, lakes or ponds, as well as poorly maintained pools. It can also be found in the mud. They are more likely to be found in the southern parts of the United States.
There have been at least forty brain-eating bacterium infections reported in the United States in the last ten years. The deadly amoeba is not contagious, and it is most likely not to cause damages if swallowed. On the other hand, there are just a few patients who survived the infection. Although specialists treat them with the best medicine, there is no proper cure against the brain-eating amoeba so far .
Doctors advise people who go swimming in warm waters to protect their nose when diving into the water and while swimming.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia