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This video is a special health warning report on a parasite known as the "brain-eating amoeba" which claimed its second young victim this month.

Naegleria is a microscopic ameba (single-celled living organism) that can cause a very rare, but severe, infection of the brain. The ameoba quickly eats away at neurons, destroying huge amounts of brain tissue within days.

The ameba is commonly found in warm freshwater (lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Naegleria fowleri infects people by entering the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people are swimming or diving in warm freshwater places.

A nine-year-old boy died of meningitis on August 5 after contracting the infection at a fishing camp, just two days after a sixteen-year-old girl lost her life from an amoeba after swimming in a river near her Florida home. The teen's mother said her daughter was running a high fever and throwing up; a local hospital gave them some painkillers and sent her home. It wasn't until the teen became delirious that her mother brought her to another hospital and got the proper diagnosis, but by then it was too late.

According to the CDC, the amoeba is not a parasite. It does not seek human hosts, but when it becomes lodged into a person's nose and starts looking for food, it ends up in the brain and starts eating neurons. The amoeba multiplies and the brain will swell, creating immense pressure until the brain stops working. Early symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, throwing up, and neck stiffness. Later symptoms include confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations. Death occurs within three to seven days after symptoms start.

Although rare, the parasite can grow very quickly in most fresh water especially during hot months. This does not mean you should avoid swimming. Doctors and the CDC recommend wearing nose clips, holding your nose when under water, or not putting your head under water at all.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.


  1. Gravatar for SHANNON

    This is very scary and I'm unclear why LCRA dont do weekly test on lakes and rivers that a large amount of people swim and take samples and cultures to see if its in the lakes we all swim in. This is worse then aids and I think people should look at this seriously and do something more and more people are getting it.

  2. Gravatar for JimmyJazz

    Sadly, Shannon, I think you're another victim of the brain eating parasite. It's not killing "more and more" people, it's killed 3, which is the average every year for many years. It's not "worse then [sic] aids" which has killed millions worldwide. Just don't go in the water ever again and you'll be just fine. As a matter of fact, be safe, just stay in your house.

  3. Mark Bello

    Now nice. No need for sarcasm. Sharon: The blog carefully sets out ways to avoid problems when you choose to swim. Heed those SENSIBLE warnings and you should be fine.

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