Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Researchers assure public that risk of infection is minute

A single-celled amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, is being blamed fro the death of a four-year-old girl last month in St. Bernard Parish, southeast of New Orleans. Described as being about a tenth the width of a human hair, it has been incorrectly described as a "brain eating" microbe. The microbe does create a deleterious immune reaction - but scientists say that the risk of infection is slight.

About 40 percent of cases of this dangerous brain inflammation have no known cause.

About 40 percent of cases of this dangerous brain inflammation have no known cause.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Amoeba, contamination, deaths, nasal passages, microbe


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More chlorine is being pumped into the municipal water supply to kill the bugs. In addition, the 40,000 residents of the town have been instructed as to how they can avoid infection. 

It's actually not that easy to get infected. Drinking the water actually poses no risk. The presence of such a deadly microbe, however, is reason for concern. 

"This is the first time that it has been found in the drinking water in the United States," Louisiana state epidemiologist Raoult Ratard says. And the United States has not seen the last of the microbe, he says. Health officials are now trying to pin down the cause of previously unexplained encephalitis cases.

About 40 percent of cases of this dangerous brain inflammation have no known cause. "Five years ago, we would never have known that this recent case was caused by the amoeba," Ratard says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are scrupulous when it comes to testing local water supplies whenever amoebic encephalitis is discovered, in order to discover its origins.

Two Louisiana residents, one a 20-year-old man from St. Bernard Parish died of amoebic encephalitis in 2011 after using tap water to rinse their nasal passages, using a popular device called a neti pot. Health officials assumed that contaminated tap water was the source of the infection.

The amoeba infected the brains of two other U.S. Children this past summer: a 12-year-old Florida boy, who died, and a 12-year-old Arkansas girl, who survived. She may be one of only three known to survive the infection in the United States.

These deaths may not be quite as rare as health officials used to think. "We're going to see more cases," Ratard says. Instead of three to five cases of amoebic encephalitis per year across the nation, "maybe we'll go to 10 a year," he says. "I don't expect we'll have a hundred."

Naegleria fowleri is only dangerous when it gains entry into the brain. It does that when water containing the amoeba gets inhaled very deeply, into the area where the roof of the nasal passages meets the floor of the brain.

"To get infected, the amoeba has to get to the ceiling of your nose - way, way up there," Ratard says. "At the top of the nose you have a little paper-thin plate made of bone with a bunch of holes, a little bit like a mosquito net. The holes are for the olfactory nerve. So the amoeba is crawling up the nerve and gets into the brain."

Therefore, drinking amoeba-contaminated water poses no risk, as the single-celled organisms can't survive in stomach acid. Normal bathing or showering isn't a risk because even if tap water is contaminated, it doesn't penetrate into the deepest nasal passages.

The recent deaths offer proof that humans live in a world of potentially lethal cells, which rarely strike out and kill.

Click to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Health

Have we passed the tipping point? Drug resistant tuberculosis could kill millions Watch

Image of Tuberculosis, also known as the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that multidrug resistant tuberculosis (TB) is reaching a tipping point, with about 480,000 new cases having occurred this year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The lung disease killed nearly 1.5 million people ... continue reading


What's the biggest danger in your home? It will shock and disgust you Watch

Image of Kitchen towels in your home may be the biggest danger to the health of you and your family.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The biggest danger in your house aren't stairs, bugs or chemicals, but actually may be hand towels kept in the kitchen. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kitchen towels may spread food poisoning, bacteria or other dangerous microorganisms around your home without any ... continue reading


NOT long enough: Ebola could lay dormant in the body for longer than 21 days, expert claims Watch

Image of Biology Professor Charles Hass, who has vast experience of analyzing the risk of transmitting biological pathogens, said

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study warns that the recommended 21-day quarantine period for the Ebola virus is not long enough to contain the spread of the disease. While the World Health Organization advises the incubation period for the virus is between two and 21 days, scientists ... continue reading


Nurse says Texas Presbyterian Hospital was chaotic and filthy during Ebola outbreak Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Texas, reacted very poorly when it discovered that they had been treating a Liberian man with Ebola. According to a nurse who has since come forward, safety regulations were blithely ignored, contaminated linens and waste ... continue reading


Why aren't we doing this? Colombia bans entry to those from Ebola affected countries Watch

Image of A Liberian man is having his temperature taken by a no-contact thermometer.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two countries have started barring entry to people coming from the nations in West Africa that have been hardest hit by the current Ebola outbreak. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenny Anthony, the prime minister of St. Lucia-a small island nation in the ... continue reading


Second Dallas health worker contracts Ebola virus Watch

Image of Workers scrub down Amber Vinson's apartment in Dallas, Texas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A second Dallas health care worker has since contracted the Ebola virus - and authorities are now frantically trying to contact the more than 100 plus passengers with whom she shared a flight. Authorities says that the employee, Amber Vinson reportedly showed ... continue reading


World has until Christmas to control Ebola; all bets off afterwards Watch

Image of The World Health Organization, or WHO earlier said there could be 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week within two months.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations says the Ebola outbreak must be controlled within 60 days. Otherwise, the world faces an "unprecedented" situation for which there is no plan. Ebola, according to the U.N. "is running faster than us and it is winning the race." LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


The horrifying truth of Ebola: WHO suggests 10,000 could become infected per week Watch

Image of An aid worker carries a child infected with Ebola in Liberia, one of the West African nations hardest hit by the outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a dire warning to the world. On October 14 they announced that the death rate of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now 70%, much higher than usual. Even more horrifying, the WHO has stated that West Africa ... continue reading


Ebola is 'the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times' -- WHO Watch

Image of Ninety percent of economic costs of any outbreak

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Deaths from the currently Ebola epidemic has sailed past the 4,000 mark this week, with the majority of deaths confined to West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are the nations most impacted by the disease. But as the first death in the United States from Ebola ... continue reading


Stem cell breakthrough could save diabetics from daily injections Watch

Image of Patients could receive a single transplant with the newly generated cells, which would then read out the amount of sugar in the blood and squirt out just the right amount of the hormone insulin.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Scientists have announced a stem cell breakthrough that could one day free millions of diabetics from a lifetime of insulin injections. Stem cell researcher Douglas Melton has conceived of a method of growing billions of precious insulin-secreting cells en ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:54-59
54 He said again to the crowds, 'When you see a cloud ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 24th, 2014 Image

St. Anthony Mary Claret
October 24: Claretian archbishop and founder. Anthony was born in Salient in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter