Tourist dies of brain-eating amoeba after returning from Thailand

Tourist dies of brain-eating amoeba upon return from Thailand

A tourist who arrived in South Korea from Thailand died of a “brain-eating amoeba”. This is the first such shocking case in the country. This was reported by The Thaiger, citing health officials in South Korea.

According to a report released Dec. 26 by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), a man “aged 50” died of the parasite Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the brain-eating amoeba. The deceased was diagnosed with meningitis. It is known that the deceased tourist, a citizen of South Korea, returned home on December 10 after spending four months in Thailand. The next day he was hospitalized. Ten days later, he died.

The incubation period of the disease can range from 2 to 15 days. Initially, those infected have headaches, fever, nausea, or vomiting. Later, symptoms develop into severe headaches, fever, vomiting, and neck stiffness.

According to the KDCA, human-to-human transmission of the disease is not possible. In a press release, KDCA chief Dr Ji Yong Mi said: “To prevent Naegleria fowleri infection, we recommend avoiding bathing and recreational activities and using clean water when traveling to areas where cases have been reported.” The doctors explained that the amoeba cannot be transmitted from one person to another and cannot get into the brain by swallowing contaminated water, the most likely way of getting into the body is swimming in dirty water. The risk increases in summer when water temperatures rise.

As of 2018, a total of 381 cases of “brain-eating disease” have been reported worldwide, caused by the parasite Naegleria fowleri. Cases have been reported in India, Thailand, USA, China and Japan. Between 1962 and 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 154 infections. Only four survived. In August 2022, an amoeba ate the brain of a 7-year-old boy who was swimming in a lake in northern California, USA.

Help: Naegleria fowleri is a single-celled amoeba that lives in soil and fresh water such as lakes, rivers and waterfalls around the world. The amoeba enters the body through the nose, migrates to the brain and devours it. With a mortality rate of over 97%, most people infected with Naegleria fowleri do not survive. In other words, the disease is practically not treated. Currently, some forms of treatment bring relief. However, there is currently no medical treatment available that provides complete protection against the effects of infection.

The surest way to avoid infection is to avoid swimming in fresh water and untreated hot springs. If contact with water is unavoidable, you should use a nose clip for bathing and do not submerge your head in water. It is also recommended to cover your nose during water-related public events.

For those who value a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “Scientists have found that the Mediterranean diet helps to get pregnant.”

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