Naegleria fowleri is a water-borne organism that attacks the brain. It usually enters through the nose, following water that has been inhaled while swimming or sometimes introduced via use of a netti-pot. Once in the brain it can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis, an often fatal inflammatory disease of the brain. There have been fewer than 40 cases reported in Florida since 1962, but one was confirmed this week. Nationally there have only ever been 143 known infections, and all but 4 were fatal. There is nothing known about the identity or age of the infected person at this time.
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