30 Dec Naegleria Fowleri (Amoeba)
Naegleria Fowleri (Amoeba)
This article discusses Daily current events about Naegleria Fowleri (brain-eating amoeba) news in relation to the pharmacy sector and health science. In GS-3 and following content has relevance for UPSC.
For prelims: Facts about Naegleria fowleri (Amoeba)
For mains: GS-3, Biotechnology, Pharmacy, and health sector
Why in news:
The “brain-eating amoeba,” has been reported in South Korea for the first time.
About Naegleria Fowleri
- Amoebae are a particular kind of cell or unicellular creature that can change its shape, typically by extending and retracting pseudopods.
- Only one species of the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, which is a single-celled organism, can infect people.
- It was initially spotted in Australia in 1965, and warm freshwater areas like hot springs, rivers, and lakes are where it is most frequently found nowadays.
- It has so far been discovered on every continent and identified as the origin of PAM (primary amebic meningoencephalitis) in more than 16 nations, including India.
Way to Spread
- Through the nose, the amoeba enters the human body and moves up to the brain.
- This frequently occurs when a person swims, dives or even just dips their head into a freshwater body of water.
- It has been discovered that some persons contracted an infection after cleaning their nostrils with contaminated water, vapor, or aerosol droplets.
- Once in the brain, It damages brain tissue and spreads a deadly infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
Signs and Symptoms
- They may initially resemble the meningitis-related symptoms of headache, nausea, and fever.
- In the later stages, one may experience seizures, hallucinations, a stiff neck, and possibly a coma.
- The infection spreads quickly and usually results in death after five days.
- According to the CDC (Centers for disease control and prevention), PAM’s initial symptoms appear one to 12 days after infection.
- Because these infections are uncommon and spread swiftly, researchers haven’t yet found any cures that work.
- Amphotericin B, azithromycin, fluconazole, rifampin, miltefosine, and dexamethasone are being used by doctors to treat it.
Impact of Climate Change:
- The CDC predicts that as temperatures rise around the world, more people will become infected with Naegleria fowleri since the amoeba primarily lives in warm freshwater bodies.
- The organism may sometimes survive at even greater temperatures and thrives best in high temperatures up to 46°C.
- Recent research has revealed that too much atmospheric carbon dioxide has caused lakes and rivers to warm up. “These circumstances offer the amoeba a more hospitable habitat in which to flourish.
- The CDC website notes that during heat waves, when air and water temperatures may be higher than usual, the amoeba may also flourish.
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