Charlotte County Health Department investigating possible case of brain-eating amoeba

An invisible and dangerous brain-eating amoeba may have ended up in Charlotte County tap water. It’s extremely rare for someone to be infected in the first place, but the Department of Health is investigating a one-of-a-kind case.

The Charlotte County Health Department believes it happened when the victim used a sinus rinse, such as a Neti Pot.

Experts say that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. It’s rare, so don’t worry about tap water.

The Charlotte County Health Department says it has a confirmed case of the brain-eating amoeba and is investigating whether the amoeba infected the victim by first surviving in tap water.

An amoeba is a small single-celled organism so small that it can only be seen under a microscope. He has no fixed body shape. They live in freshwater ponds, streams and lakes, some of which are deadly.

“You start to feel dizzy, dizzy,” said Barry Rosen of the FGCU Water School, describing some of the symptoms of an amoeba. “It has to go up to the brain.”

Rosen said the only way for this to happen is to flush the sinuses, like a Neti Pot.

The Centers for Disease Control say that, while possible, as of November 2022, there are no cases like this on record.

“It’s so rare that you know, it would be hard for me to say, ‘yes, you should be worried about it.’ It’s far too rare for that to happen,” Rosen said.

The Charlotte County Health Department is clear its investigators haven’t confirmed anything. No one will say who is infected, their age, the victim’s prognosis, or where it happened.

Rosen reduced it. “Tap water can mean it comes from the tap, but it can come from their own well, right? Thus, tap water supplied by a municipal supplier is chlorinated. And that level of chlorine they’re applying is strong enough to kill that amoeba. That shouldn’t be a problem.

An amoeba usually lives in a lake or pond at temperatures above 75 or 80 degrees. A brain-eating amoeba can only infect someone through the nose. You cannot become infected by drinking tap water.

Charlotte County residents have said they fear such a thing is possible, even though it is extremely rare.

“We’re a bit alarmed by this,” Kirk Huang said. “We are all really surprised that something like this is happening in this particular community.”

“I’m totally alarmed,” Larke H said. Charlotte County, the CDC will get to it and find out right away.

Symptoms include headache, fever, disorientation, hallucinations and seizures. While it’s rare for someone to catch a brain-eating amoeba, it’s also rare for that person to survive.

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