A man in Charlotte County, Florida, has died after contracting a brain-eating infection from tap water.

100 Percent Fed Up reports – The man, who has not been named, used tap water for a sinus rinse which caused him to become infected with a rare amoeba called Naegleria fowleri that can cause a brain infection called amebic meningoencephalitis.

In a statement from the Department of Health-Charlotte, they said they are “continuing to investigate how this infection occurred and is working with the local public utilities to identify any potential links and make any necessary corrective actions.”

The first symptoms of this disease are headache, vomiting, and nausea. As the disease progresses, the infected individual may suffer from cognitive issues and a stiff neck. The infected may also experience seizures.

Severe swelling, and ultimately rotting, of the brain and spinal cord occurs.

Infected individuals will die within five days of the symptoms first appearing.

There are no known treatments for his disease.

This amoeba, which kills 97% of the people it infects, can only be contracted through water in the nose, and it normally lives in warm bodies of water. Stomach acid is strong enough to kill the amoeba; therefore, the nose is the only path the amoeba can take that will prove fatal.

The US has only suffered around 160 confirmed or suspected cases of brain-eating amoeba since it first started tracking them in 1962

This is the first reported case of Naegleria fowleri in the United States this year. Typically, only a few deaths from this brain-eating amoeba occur each year, often in people swimming in warm lakes and rivers.

Most of these cases have occurred in Florida.

The Department is working with healthcare facilities to monitor any indications of additional infections.

Anyone who experiences the following symptoms after swimming in warm lakes or rivers or after a nasal water exposure such as a sinus rinse should seek medical care immediately:

Headache
Fever
Nausea
Disorientation
Vomiting
Stiff neck
Seizures
Loss of balance
Hallucinations

Since the amoeba is rare and can only infect humans through the nose, the Department of Health has assured residents that the tap water in the area is still safe to drink.

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However, it is advised that water is boiled for at least one minute before it is used to rinse one’s nose, so any potential bacteria is killed. Additionally, local residents have been advised not to allow water into their noses while showering, bathing, or swimming and to avoid letting children play with sprinklers and slip-and-slides.

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