Sometimes people are like, Kim, why'd you start this blog? And I'm like, because where else can I describe my fear of Naegleria fowleri and how it keeps me out of lakes?
With summer coming up, I thought it was time for a PSA about my least favorite protist. Note that it has all of the features that I love to hate the most--it's rapidly fatal. Cases typically cause death within a week. And most horrible to my ears are these two words: delayed diagnosis.
Luckily, there's a way to avoid this brain-eating amoeba: stay out of fresh water lakes, especially when the weather is hot! And if you do have to wade into such a body of water, don't let it get up your nose, because that's how it gets you!
It's rare, for sure, but I'm not taking any chances:
'Naegleria fowleri, a free-living ameba, is the causal agent of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is an acute, fulminant, and rapidly fatal CNS infection. PAM develops within several days of exposure to the contaminated water source and typically causes death within 1–2 weeks after admittance to the hospital. Few individuals survive the infection, partly because of its rapid onset and partly because of delayed diagnosis.'