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Brain-eating amoeba infects person in Florida

A person has become infected with a brain-eating amoeba in Florida, the state’s department of health has warned.

It happened in Hillsborough County, which is home to the city of Tampa.

The single-celled organism, known as Naegleria fowleri, destroys brain tissue and is usually fatal.

It is most often found in warm lakes, rivers, ponds, hot springs and canals.

The Florida Department of Health explained that the amoeba enters human bodies through the nose and then travels up to the brain.

<who> Photo credit: CDC

Victims usually die within a week of becoming infected.

Between 1962 and 2018, there were 145 cases of the infection.

Only four people survived.

The majority of the cases were recorded in Texas and Florida.

Floridians have been warned to avoid swimming in particularly warm water and to hold their noses when they do take a dip.

Those who fear they have been infected by the amoeba are advised to call emergency services immediately.

Learn more here.

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