Explained: This dangerous creature ate the girl's brain, it is the blessing of immortality, bathing in a pond or swimming pool can be expensive!

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
5 Min Read

New Delhi: A small creature can eat a human brain. This small creature of the world, invisible to the eyes, is so dangerous that even the medical world has not been able to control it. It is considered immortal, that is, it does not die even if killed. It thrives in water in extremely hot environments. In such a situation, bathing in a dirty pond or water park in summer can prove to be costly for anyone. Recently, a 5-year-old girl died in Kerala after bathing in a dirty pond. It is being told that the girl had a rare infection 'Naegleria fowleri'. This infection occurs due to the brain being eaten by amoeba. This amoeba thrives as the heat increases.

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What is this brain-eating amoeba that is so dangerous?

According to experts, Naegleria fowleri infection is called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). This infection is caused by a free-living amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. Amoeba consists of one cell. For this reason it keeps changing its shape and never dies. It was first discovered in Australia in the 1960s. But his family prospered in America.

Dangerous amoeba enters the body through the nose

According to Ravikant Chaturvedi, a doctor of internal medicine in Ranchi, this deadly amoeba is found all over the world. It lives in warm fresh water. This amoeba enters the body through the nose while swimming or bathing. This amoeba grows rapidly at high temperature i.e. 46 degrees centigrade and expands its family.

This amoeba grows in swimming pools and water parks

This dangerous amoeba grows rapidly in places with warm fresh water like lakes, rivers, ponds, swimming pools, splash pads, surf parks, water parks. It especially likes to increase its family in those places with water where cleanliness is not taken care of and the water is not treated with chlorine or bleaching powder.

Growth of amoeba in polluted swimming pools

How does this amoeba reach the brain?

While bathing or swimming in public places, Naegleria fowleri amoeba enters the body through the nose and from there goes to the brain. As soon as this amoeba enters the brain, it starts destroying brain cells and tissues. This increases swelling in the brain.

This infection does not occur by drinking contaminated water.

According to the doctor, this infection is not contagious. Even if this amoeba is present in drinking water, it does not spread through it. Even if someone accidentally drinks contaminated water, he will not get this infection. It spreads only through nerve cells going to the brain through the nose.

specialist in brain eating amoeba

What are the symptoms by which the patient can be identified?

Initial symptoms include problems like headache, fever, cold and vomiting. Later, the patient develops stiffness in the neck, confusion and falls into a coma. According to a study by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a patient suffering from this infection dies within 1 to 18 days. After going into coma, the patient can survive for a maximum of 5 days.

brain eating amoeba

No cure has been found yet

Dr. Chaturvedi says that this disease is so fatal that no cure has been found for it yet. At present, doctors give many types of medicines, but they do not necessarily have any effect on the patient. So far 20 cases of amoebic meningoencephalitis have been reported in India. The first case of this disease was reported in Kerala in 2016.

brain eating amoeba

Brain eater amoeba causes swelling in the brain

This is how you can protect yourself from such amoeba

Wearing a nose clip can prevent contaminated water from entering the nose, especially when swimming in a pond or water park or swimming pool during hot weather. Keeping the head above water can also prevent contaminated water from entering the nose. One should also avoid digging or stirring up the sediment at the bottom of lakes, ponds and rivers, as this is where the amoeba is most likely to live. Boiled and cooled water or distilled water should be used when rinsing the sinuses or clearing the nose.

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