The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States has revealed that Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba has a significant northward trend since 2010. According to the CDC, this unicellular organism is present in the freshwaters of the country, and it causes a condition known as amebic meningoencephalitis which will result in inflammation and destruction of the human brain.
Amoeba moving northward
Jennifer Cope, a medical officer at the CDC's Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch recently told Newsweek that these deadly unicellular organisms are currently moving towards northern regions that include, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Kansas, and New Mexico.
"Our data show that the numbers of cases have been stable over time with no detected increases. Where Naegleria fowleri infections occur in the United States is changing. In 2010, the first Naegleria infection was reported from Minnesota, 600 miles farther north than any previously reported case. We are seeing a statistically significant northward trend in the latitude of water exposures among US recreational water-associated cases," Cope told Newsweek.
Migration of brain-eating amoeba
Now, water supply in Lake Jackson city in Texas is currently undergoing extensive disinfection process after this amoeba was discovered. According to experts, this migration of amoeba is mainly happening due to climate change.
The chances of this amoeba surviving will be high when the water is warm. The trajectory of this amoeba towards the northern direction could be due to the surge in temperature, as the amoeba may not have survived in different conditions.
Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when water containing the amoeba enters the human body through the nose. It typically happens when a person goes swimming in warm freshwaters. The microorganism will later travel up the nose to the brain where it starts its destructive process. People who develop symptoms like headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, loss of balance, and hallucinations after having a swim in warm waters should consult a doctor immediately.