Naegleria fowleri, the Brain Eating Amoeba

Naegleria fowleri, also known as the Brain Eating Ameoba, is a microscopic ameba that infects people through the nose. The ameba lives in freshwater and soil. If Naegleria fowleri enters the nose it can make its way to the brain and cause a usually fatal infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The initial symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck. Later symptoms include confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Infection has information on this infection and should be contacted if it is believed that someone has PAM.  The Texas Department of  State Health Services also has information.

If you or your physician are concerned that someone may have been infected by Naegleria fowleri you should contact the CDC to learn about the latest treatments.  Please see Use of the Novel Therapeutic Agent Miltefosine for the Treatment of Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis: Report of 1 Fatal and 1 Surviving Case  and CDC Offers Hope in Fighting Brain-Eating Ameba for discussions of recent treatment.

Refraining from water-related activities in or with warm, untreated, or poorly treated water will help prevent a Naegleria fowleri infection. Recently, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued a warning:

[i]f you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, for example, by using a Neti Pot, use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution,” said Louisiana State Epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard. “Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose.” It’s also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry

Animal Planet recently produced and aired a documentary concerning the Brain Eating Amoeba.

We have successfully represented the family of a child that was infected with Naegleria fowleri at a summer camp. Shortly thereafter she suffered a horrible death. Although it is claimed that the infection is rare, measures should be taken by camps, guide services, swimming pool operators and others to prevent the infection. Several people, many who are children, are known to die from this risk each year.

According to the CDC, in the 10 years from 2007 to 2016, 40 infections were reported in the U.S.

Thankfully, there have recently been a couple of survivors. Please refer to these CNN stories for details –  Rare recovery: Florida teen survives brain-eating amoeba, and  Kali Hardig, brain-eating amoeba survivor, to begin school next week.

Experienced Naegleria Fowleri Attorney

If one of your loved ones has died from a Naegleria fowleri infection, please do not hesitate to give us a call to see if we can help. We have experience with Naegleria fowleri cases. Your call may help save someone else.  Please contact East Texas Attorney, Chris JonesBoard Certified Personal Injury Trial Law  at 903-236-4990 for a free initial consultation or send us a message at Contact Us.