You may have heard that there have been a few deaths from amoebas this summer. As your friendly neighborhood amoeba, I can tell you that amoebas don’t intend to cause harm. However, sometimes they do. Here’s the lowdown:
When a natural fresh water source, such as a lake, warms up to about 80 F amoebas tend to get quite cozy. And that’s when they start to multiply pretty fast. If a certain amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, makes its way up your nose, it can cause amoebic meningoencephalitis. Like any “mening” or “encephalitis” this is bad. It usually results in death.
Amoeba don’t want to be in your nose anymore than you want them there, so there a simple way to prevent them from getting in there: hold your nose–or keep it pinched shut. Particularly when thrashing around in a way that would cause water to go up your nose–like diving bombing into the water.
It’s pretty darn rare to get this little guy in your brain, but it can happen, so have fun but take a little precaution in warm waters.
Note the article titles below… they seem to suggest these are zombie amoebas! lol
- To Avoid Brain-Eating Amoebas, Hold Your Nose (npr.org)
- Brain-eating amoeba rare but deadly: How to stay safe (cbsnews.com)