Brain-Eating Amoeba Thrives in Warm, Fresh Water -- Page 2

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Diagnosing this disease is difficult. Yoder explained that associated symptoms, such as high fever, headache, and stiff neck, are present with bacterial and viral meningitis, so misdiagnoses are possible.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports, however, that the infection is rare and that Yust was only the second known case of a person contracting the infection in Kansas. The state will likely issue warnings to recreational water users, as other states like Florida have done following similar deaths.

Human-Like Brain Found in Worm

"During the hottest time of the summer, water in ponds, lakes, and rivers become very warm and there can be increases in the amounts of amoeba present," said Florida DOH spokesperson Christie Goss. "We advise everyone to be aware of the danger of swimming in such water, but especially of stirring up the sediment in shallow water or diving and swimming under water which can enable the amoeba to enter the nose and possibly infect the brain."

Both the DOH and the CDC add that it may help to "hold your nose, or use nose plugs when jumping or diving into water."

Health officials at the CDC and elsewhere continue to monitor cases of the disease to detect any possible patterns or if the caseload might rise in future due to climate change or other possible contributing factors.

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