‘Brain-Eating Amoeba’ May Be Spreading to Northern US States
“…the dangerous “brain-eating amoeba”, which generally thrives in warm bodies of fresh water, has in recent years been found in northern US states with greater frequency “as air and water temperatures rise”.
One medical epidemiologist with the CDC reportedly suggested that climate change may play a role in the microorganism’s apparent northward expansion.
An unfortunate resident of the US state of Missouri became the latest victim of a rare and deadly brain infection caused by a microorganism called Naegleria fowleri, known also as a “brain-eating amoeba”.
The Iowa Public Health Department has announced a temporary closure of the beach at Lake of Three Fires in Taylor County, where the victim was possibly exposed to the dangerous microorganism, adding that testing for Naegleria fowleri is being conducted there “in conjunction with the CDC”.
In light of this development, NBC News notes, citing the CDC, that the dangerous “brain-eating amoeba”, which generally thrives in warm bodies of fresh water, has in recent years been found in northern US states with greater frequency “as air and water temperatures rise”.
As the media outlet points out, a CDC study published in 2020 notes that five of the six cases of the primary amebic meningoencephalitis, as the brain infection caused by Naegleria fowleri is called, occurred during or after 2010.
“The rise in cases in the Midwest region after 2010 and increases in maximum and median latitudes of PAM case exposures suggest a northward expansion of N. fowleri exposures,” the study says.
A medical epidemiologist with the CDC named Julia Haston also suggested that climate change may be playing a role in this situation.
“It’s an amoeba that really likes warm conditions, really likes warm fresh water,” she said as quoted by the media outlet. “That’s the concern — that climate change can be contributing to these higher air temperatures.”