A ‘Brain-Eating Amoeba’?!

(DCWatchdog.com) – In a shocking and disturbing incident, a man in Israel died after inhaling a brain-eating amoeba during a swim at a popular beach.

The Times of Israel reported that the unidentified 25-year-old Israeli man developed a life-threatening brain swelling from a rare amoeba.

It is believed he contracted the deadly organism called Naegleria Fowleri last week at Gai Beach on the Sea of Galilee, a freshwater lake in northern Israel. He died shortly after the incident.

This marks the second death in Israel caused by this amoeba, as in August 2022, a 36-year-old Israeli man died of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), the brain infection triggered by the same organism.

Moreover, Naegleria Fowleri has also caused fatalities in the U.S. In July 2023, a 2-year-old boy died from the infection after visiting Ash Springs, Nevada. That same month, a 14-year-old boy in Port Charlotte, Florida, survived the infection, which has a 97% fatality rate.

Commonly known as the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria Fowleri destroys brain tissue and is usually found in warm freshwater bodies like lakes, rivers, or hot springs and sometimes in poorly maintained swimming pools. Experts worry the amoeba’s presence is increasing in some U.S. states due to climate change.

Additionally, PAM occurs when water containing the amoeba enters the nose, allowing it to reach the brain. Yet, swimmers cannot get infected by swallowing the water and the infection is not contagious.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the illness progresses rapidly. Symptoms can include headaches, fever, nausea, and vomiting, and “usually leads to coma and death after 5 days.”

Other symptoms can include a stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention, loss of balance, and hallucinations. The CDC also noted, “Typically, fewer than 10 people a year in the United States get PAM. Nearly everyone who gets PAM dies from it.”

Consequently, Israel’s Health Ministry has sent environmental health inspectors to Gai Beach, but no evidence of amoeba contamination has been found so far.

The man was admitted to Sharon Hospital on Tuesday, June 2, with a fever, headaches and vomiting. He was later transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, as his condition worsened.

A hospital spokesperson told the Kan public broadcaster: “From the moment he was hospitalized, medical teams used everything at their disposal, including drug treatments and surgical interventions in order to save the patient’s life, but his condition continued to deteriorate.”

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