(INTELLIHUB) — The Center for Disease Control and other medical experts have warned that Floridians those in other Southern states participating in freshwater swimming activities are at risk of contracting a deadly brain-eating amoeba, especially in wake of Hurricane Irma.
In fact, the danger is bad enough that British travelers were warned of contracting the “fatal amoeba lurking in Florida holiday hotspot” in a piece published by the Daily Express.
The Sun-Sentinel reports: “[…] while infections are infrequent, the Naegleria fowleri amoeba is common in southern states. If you cup your hands and scoop up water in any lake or stream in Florida during the summer, there’s a good chance you’ve scooped up some of them.”
But what’s so horrifying about the amoeba is how it travels up the nose until it reaches the brain and eventually starts devouring it until it shuts down. Not to mention the fact that symptoms are hard to identify.
According to a report in USA Today, “Diagnosing the infection is difficult because initial symptoms are general: headache, fever, nausea or vomiting. When the disease sets in, people might then experience a stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations, the CDC reports. After the start of symptoms, people die in less than a week.”
The CDC has calculated the mortality rate at 97%.