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Naegleria Fowleri. The Brain eating amoeba.

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  • Naegleria Fowleri. The Brain eating amoeba.

    Don't panic. The disease this little critter causes is just as bad as it sounds. N. fowleri is a free-living amoeba that thrives in fresh water reservoirs like ponds, lakes and yes, swimming pools. It enters along with the water taken through a person's nose, get's into the nervous system and travels to the brain, where it causes Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM), a disease where instead of its normal diet of bacteria, the amoeba uses brain tissue as its food source. That means it literally eats your brain! And don't worry, with over 95% mortality, you won't have to live to see the sorry state you are in with half of your brain missing!

    So moral of the story, don't go swimming recklessly in pools, ponds and lakes without taking suitable precautions. Be smart. Because if you don't, you won't have a brain left to reflect on your foolishness later.

  • #2
    But there should be a point in contention here. Could that type of amoeba possibly thrive in swimming pools drenched in chlorine? From what I've read this N. floweri could survive at least 24 hours in chlorine-drenched pools before it dies, but what if you increase the chlorine concentration and let it hang for 24 hours before opening the pool to the public? This should be incorporated in the safety protocol just to ensure that children and adults are safe from such a deadly organism.
    UnslaadKrosis likes this.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by xTinx View Post
      But there should be a point in contention here. Could that type of amoeba possibly thrive in swimming pools drenched in chlorine? From what I've read this N. floweri could survive at least 24 hours in chlorine-drenched pools before it dies, but what if you increase the chlorine concentration and let it hang for 24 hours before opening the pool to the public? This should be incorporated in the safety protocol just to ensure that children and adults are safe from such a deadly organism.

      Increasing chlorine concentration more than even a little bit above the recommended amount can lead to some serious health hazards. And though precautions against such organism can be taken, its scope is limited to swimming pools and other artificially controlled water reservoirs. Most people, on the other hand, learn to swim in the local pond or lake, and since the water there can't be controlled, are therefore at much higher risk than the people who only use a swimming pool for their purposes.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by UnslaadKrosis View Post


        Increasing chlorine concentration more than even a little bit above the recommended amount can lead to some serious health hazards. And though precautions against such organism can be taken, its scope is limited to swimming pools and other artificially controlled water reservoirs. Most people, on the other hand, learn to swim in the local pond or lake, and since the water there can't be controlled, are therefore at much higher risk than the people who only use a swimming pool for their purposes.
        Well suppose you dilute the chlorine concentration once the pool is opened to the public? The initial highly concentrated chlorine is only for the purpose of killing the amoeba. If all else fails because people insist to swim in lakes or ponds, then perhaps strengthening the immune system or developing an antidote that weakens it will make the organism a lot easier to dispose of.

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        • #5
          Apparently, there were only three survivors from this deadly amoeba. One of which is this 12 year old girl from Arkansas. She actually got the disease from swimming in a water park in Arkansas. She also received experimental treatments to treat her condition. It also helped that the disease was detected early on in her.

          Their methods in treating her? Cold compresses and anti-fungal medicines. The experimental drug used on her was supposedly for breast cancer patients but showed some amoeba-killing abilities. It is called Miltefosine.

          It's important to note that they used the same medicine in a boy infected with the same disease but sadly, he didn't survive.
          A 12-year-old girl in Arkansas is the third survivor of a deadly infection caused by the brain-eating parasite Naegleria fowleri. Doctors used cooling methods and experimental drugs to kill the parasite and save the girl.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by xTinx View Post

            Well suppose you dilute the chlorine concentration once the pool is opened to the public? The initial highly concentrated chlorine is only for the purpose of killing the amoeba. If all else fails because people insist to swim in lakes or ponds, then perhaps strengthening the immune system or developing an antidote that weakens it will make the organism a lot easier to dispose of.

            Well the swimming pool method can be done. And maybe that's why there are little to no cases there.

            But the antidote one? Scientists are certainly trying, but till now, they've come up empty-handed. No vaccines, no specific amoebicide, nothing. As Briannagodess said. The only cure that has 'worked' (well sort of.) constituted an anti-cancer drug and anti-fungals (remember this guy is an amoeba, entirely different kingdom of organism than a fungus). So medical intervention, as of now, is far away. The only way to prevent an infection is personal safety measures like safe swimming practices and avoiding untreated fresh water reservoirs.

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            • #7
              That's actually right. I guess there are still some genetic issues at work here since for some people these cures worked but for many, these doesn't work. Or maybe it's the equation of:

              1. Early detection

              2. Cold Compress

              3. Anti-Fungal Medicines

              4. Miltefosine

              The doctors said that they don't know what has made the girl truly cured out of these four. They further said that maybe it's the combination of these that has worked. Plus, a major factor is that the disease was detected early on! Of course, nothing beats prevention, first and foremost as UnslaadKrosis said.
              UnslaadKrosis likes this.

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              • #8
                UnslaadKrosis , Briannagodess

                I've found this article and been reading through it: http://www.medicinenet.com/naegleria...on/article.htm. The amoeba, once it reaches the brain, causes what medical experts term as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) and apparently 99% of the cases ended up in deaths. The best method of treatment is injecting a drug called Amphotericin B directly to the brain. Perhaps the person's receptiveness to the drug and immune system will make or break the drug's efficiency.
                Briannagodess and UnslaadKrosis like this.

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                • #9
                  xTinx Thank you for that information. Much of what I've read haven't mentioned that drug yet. Is it a new one or an experimental drug just like the one I mentioned? Anyway, for me, the more drugs that are able to help people with this condition, the better. Granted, not all drugs work for all patients but it somehow raises the chance of them being cured. I guess different drugs have different effects on different people. How many people have they injected this drug to? I hope they are able to study more about its effectiveness.

                  But nothing beats prevention of course! As much as we can, avoid swimming in ponds and lakes. And ask the management before swimming in pools as well if they have the chlorine in the pools for 24 hours already.

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