Negleria Fowler is a unicellular organism that lives in warm fresh water bodies. Human contact with this amoeba is deadly: while swimming in rivers, lakes, insufficiently chlorinated pools or warm tap water containing Negleria Fowler, the parasite can enter the nose, and from there it can enter the brain along the olfactory nerve and literally devour it, causing hemorrhages and necrosis in gray and white matter.
Infections are infrequent but usually fatal. So, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1962 to 2018, 145 cases of the disease were registered, and only four people managed to survive.
The most recent victim was Joshua McIntyre, a 6-year-old boy from Lake Jackson, Texas. Investigating the death of the child, doctors found that he could have become infected in two places at once: Negleria Fowlera lived in a shower hose in the house where the boy lived, and also in an attraction-"sprinkler" working in the center of Lake Jackson. Further inspections revealed the presence of amoeba in a quarter of samples taken from eight Texas cities, Business Insider reported.
The authorities have asked residents not to drink water without boiling, which can be deadly. Recommendations to avoid swimming in fresh water bodies, which warm up to 25-30 degrees and therefore can be potentially dangerous, also remain relevant: due to global warming, cases of infection with Negleria Fowler are becoming more frequent.