The Brazos River Authority Warns of Brain-Eating Amoeba
Jumping into the nearest river, lake, or pond can be a great way to cool down with temperatures rising here in Central Texas, but you should be aware of the dangers.
As reported by our news partners at KWTX, "A rare but usually fatal illness" is lurking in the waters according. That's according to the Brazos River Authority, who are warning Texans about primary amebic meningoencephalitis, which is a disease caused by Naegleria fowleri, a water-born amoeba found in stagnate freshwater that is warmer than 80 degrees.
These amoeba enter through your nose, usually when you jump into the water. From there they travel to the brain, destroying tissue along the way. It can take up to 5 days before you even know you're infected. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea and or vomiting, and can then progress to loss of balance, a stiff neck, seizures, and hallucinations. In severe cases, this can lead to death, usually within a two week period.
It's recommended that if you have these symptoms after getting water up your nose, you should seek medical attention immediately. Although the disease is rare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only four people, out of 145 cases here in the U.S., have survived the infection from 1962 to 2018.
The best bet is to avoid swimming in low level, warm waters and stick to clean swimming pools.