Brain-eating amoeba is a severe infection of the brain caused by Naegleria fowleri, resulting in the onset of a condition known as meningoencephalitis. Some people that experience infection with the amoeba show no symptoms and the amoeba leaves the body without causing any damage.
However, in some cases, the onset of meningoencephalitis causes massive inflammation in the brain, and patients that experience this infection have a high likelihood of dying. The symptoms of meningoencephalitis start with the patient suffering a high fever and chills. As the infection increases in intensity, patients begin to notice signs of headache and sensitivity to light, as well as a stiff neck and changes in their taste and smell.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing that doctors can do to stop the infection, and in most cases, people who contract meningoencephalitis will die within a week of the symptoms manifesting. Patients who experience the onset of meningoencephalitis require immediate hospitalization.
1. Myth – You Can Catch Brain-Eating Amoeba from Drinking Water
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet regarding brain-eating amoeba. There are some websites and accounts of people that suggest drinking water can cause you to contract the amoeba. However, this is not the case. The amoeba responsible for the development of meningoencephalitis can only enter the brain by accessing the nasal cavity where it travels into the brain.
Therefore, it’s impossible to contract the amoeba through drinking out of a glass or a bottle. The patient would have to miss their mouths and pour water down their nose to allow the amoeba to enter the brain. Thus, you don’t have to worry about your favorite brand of bottled water containing brain-eating amoeba, or contracting the amoeba through drinking water out of your tap.
The amoeba responsible for the infection lives in still bodies of freshwater. Therefore, we can put to rest the suggestion that drinking water can cause the disease. Even if you were to drink water contaminated with the amoeba, it would not cause any form of brain damage or the onset of meningoencephalitis.