Tuesday, September 6, 2011

KILLER AMOEBA IN FLORIDA RIVER

    THE  number of death out of drowning or water related cases of deaths in the U.S. might run into many thousands in an year and though they are sad and shocking, a particular news of a child dying a horrible death out of an infection from a killer Amoeba while swimming in a River, East coast Florida on August 3 was very sad and alarming.

Courtney Nash, her brother and four other friends went for swimming in the river  to combat the summer heat. After the elaborate bathing and swimming in the river she returned home. Some time later she complained of headache, fever and a general uneasiness.

 Her mother narrates: “she would sit up in bed and just look at me and I would ask her what was wrong and she would reply ' I do not know' and I would tell her to lay back down  ... her eyes were rolling and would not shut all the way."

  In a couple of days she developed memory problems, hallucinations, loss of balance and though she was admitted in the Hospital the Doctors could not sort out the disease immediately and by the time the cause of her illness found out she was beyond redemption. She died a pathetic death within 10 days of the onset of illness.

The Amoebae are rarely lethal except this particular one called,  Naegleria  fowleri,  which literally eats the brain neurons once it could reach there. It lives in the warm waters of  rivers, lakes or ponds,  but not found in salt water oceans. This particular Amoeba infects humans while swimming and diving though it does not make a targeted attack on human body as the human body is not a natural host for them. It  reaches the nose while swimming and once lodged there reaches the frontal portion of the brain in search of food. The brain cells become its food and as it multiplies quickly a great deal of damage to the brain can be made in a short while.  It can cause no harm if it reached stomach or any other body parts except  in the  brain as it does not eat other body parts other than the brain cells.

 Fortunately this killer Amoeba, though found all over the world in warm fresh waters, very rarely infects humans as only a couple of deaths are recorded in a year. Yet its eerie nature makes it a horrible threat while swimming in fresh water during  summer days

It is not yet clear why out of millions of people who swim in the water only a very few people are infected by the Amoeba. The scientists speculate that lack of some particular antibodies in the system might be the reason to make certain persons vulnerable to the Amoeba.



Image Courtsey :Google

1 comment:

Shukoor said...

Thank you for this informative post. It's sad the girl met such a tragedy. May govt take actions to eliminate such Amoebas before they cause more tragedies.