A rare type of encephalitis

Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) is rare in general, luckily, but in this post I will write about an even more rare cause of encephalitis. Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, or amebic encephalitis, is infection of the brain caused by microscopic ameba, a single-celled organism. Specifically, it is caused by naegleria fowleri. This ameba is found in warm freshwater, therefore it can be in lakes, rivers, and hot springs, it can be found in the soil as well. The ameba can enter the brain through the nose, and the infection is usually fatal. There have been cases in the US of this type of encephalitis – from lake water and tap water.

I know this happens quite rarely, and hopefully we will keep it that way, but some researchers predict an increase in the number of cases due to the rising average temperatures. Therefore it’s important to rinse your nose only with previously boiled water, and check any warnings by the municipality in regards to the body of water where you want to swim.

Rare brain-eating amoebas killed Seattle woman who rinsed her sinuses with tap water. Doctor warns this could happen again.

“I think we are going to see a lot more infections that we see south (move) north, as we have a warming of our environment,” said Dr. Cynthia Maree, a Swedish infectious-disease doctor who co-authored the case study about the woman’s condition.”