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Naegleria Infection Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Naegleria Infection ?

It is a rare and often deadly brain infection triggered by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba. In addition this, amoeba is commonly found in:

  • Hot springs.
  • Rivers.
  • Freshwater lakes.

Water sports tend to increase the possibility of its exposure. Through the nose, naegleria fowleri manages to reach the brain, a place where it sources intense damage. Majority individuals with the infection fail to recover and die within 6-7 days. Each year, countless of individuals get exposed to it, where only few become affected. Health officials have failed to understand as to why some of these people develop the infection and not others.

What Are The Symptoms Of Naegleria Infection ?

The infection triggers a disease named primary amebic meningoencephalitis that is known to root the destruction and inflammation of the brain tissue.

Usually, the indications of naegleria infection arise within 2-14 days, after being exposed to naegleria fowleri. Common symptoms include the following:

  • Sudden headache.
  • Fever.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Change in the sense of taste or smell.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Confusion.
  • Hallucinations.

Symptoms associated with naegleria infection are known to progress quickly. Often these end up in death within six to seven days, or so.

What Causes Naegleria Infection ?

As mentioned earlier, it is triggered by an amoeba, named Naegleria fowleri. In addition to this, the amoeba commonly prevails in warm bodies of fresh water, often during the months of summer. It can also be found in soil.

Naegleria fowleri gets into the body by means of nose, through contaminated dust or water. It then manages to reach the brain via nerves responsible for transmitting the sense of smell. Among countless of individuals exposed to amoeba, few manages to get sick from it. The reason behind the logic, as to why some become affected by it and not others, is yet to be known.

More specifically, Naegleria fowleri is not transmitted through the direct contact with an infected person, or by the intake of contaminated water. Besides, swimming in a pool that is disinfected and cleaned, is safe!

What Are The Risk Factors Of Naegleria Infection ?

Factors known to increase the chances of naegleria infection are:

  • Swimming in freshwater.
  • Heat waves.
  • Young adults and children.

How Is Naegleria Infection Diagnosis ?

MRI and CT scan will spot the presence of swelling, as well as bleeding within the patient’s brain.

Besides, spinal tap, also known as lumbar puncture, can also be suggested.

How Is Naegleria Infection Treatment ?

Many out of the infected individuals fail to survive the fatal infection, despite being treated. Though, early detection, followed by immediate treatment can help with the survival to some extent.

Antifungal drug, amphotericin B, tends to be the basic treatment for it that is often injected into the vein, or into the area encompassing the spinal cord, to counter the amoebas.

By : Natural Health News

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