What You Should Know About the Naegleria Fowleri Amoeba
The amoeba that likely infected and killed a 9-year-old boy is believed to have come from Lily Lake in Stillwater, but it's not the only body of water in the state to contain the dangerous organism.
Richard Danlia is the Assistant State Epidemiologist. He says Naegleria Fowleri is present in just about every body of fresh water in the state including lakes, rivers, hot springs and potentially poorly maintained swimming pools.
According to the CDC, Naegleria Fowleri is not contagious, and a person cannot become infected by drinking the amoeba. Danlia says the amoeba enters the body through the nose, "The amoeba actually crawls up into your brain. Crawls along a nerve into your brain, once it arrives, it's very happy and starts eating everything."
Once infected, a person may not show symptoms for two days, or as long as two weeks. There is no known treatment for a Naegleria Fowleri infection. That said, Danlia says infections are very rare, and rarer still in Minnesota. Most infections occur in warmer southern states, however, with warmer than usual temperatures becoming more frequent, Danlia says so too may infections, "It used to be only doctors in south worried about this disease, now doctors in Maine, Minnesota, Washington State, could be seeing this disease."
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