Extended periods of extreme heat, along with the stagnant and low water levels caused by the recent drought, have created an ideal environment for a very dangerous and fatal organism called Naegleria Fowleria. It is a free-living amoeba that lives in freshwater and can cause a severe and fatal brain infection.
The amoeba enters the body through the nasal cavity and gets into the brain through the olfactory nerve. While this infection is rare, 2 cases have already been reported in east Texas this year and it has proved to be fatal in nearly all cases, even with treatment.
"Due to consistent high temps and stagnant lake waters we've seen an increase this year." said Val Sparks
The Texas Department of State Health Services is alerting everyone who will be going into any warm, freshwater body this summer, to assume there is at least a low risk of infection and take precautions by protecting your nose with a nose clip.
According to the CDC, symptoms are very similar to those of meningitis such as headache, fever, stiff neck, anorexia, vomiting, altered mental state, seizure, and coma. If you are affected by these symptoms and believe you may be infected by this amoeba it is advised to see a doctor immediately. If you're unsure and would like to speak with a medical professional, call 68 NURSE.