Rome, 31 July 2023 – The brain-eating amoeba did another victim in the United States: this time in Georgia. The health authorities report it. “Died for an infection with Naegleria fowleriwhich destroys brain tissue causing brain swelling and usually death,” writes the Department of Public Health.
Just 10 days ago from Florida the news of a 14-year-old who survivedeven if he was paralysed.
How it got infected
According to the first reconstruction of the health authorities, the man would have become infected bathing in a lake or pond. Naegleria fowleri, the sanitary ware recalls, “is not found in salt water, like the ocean, and is not found in properly treated drinking water and swimming pools.”
What science says
“Solo about three people in the United States are infected every year, but these infections are usually fatal,” the scientists recall.
Between 1962 and 2021, again according to the numbers of the health authorities, they were confirmed 154 almost; Of these only 4 survived.
Bassetti: what you need to know
Matthew Bassettithe professor who directs the San Martino Infectious Diseases Clinic in Genoa, clarifies: “Amoebiasis can also have abdominal localizationas well as cerebral. Of course, these infections also run in relation to the patient’s immunosuppressive state. This micro-organism is quite common in developing countries. It should be known that the so-called ‘brain-eating amoeba’ exists but is not so frequent. In the past we have seen episodes also in Italy. Ma I wouldn’t make a case of it. Rather, we need to invest more in knowledge”.
“90% of infectious diseases are still unknown”
The reasoning serves as the basis for giving a shock percentage. “Even today – reasons the professor – 90% of infectious diseases are unknown. Percentage that certainly applies to some parts of the world, such as Africa for example. I think about mammoth worms freed from melting permafrost in Siberia and returned to live after 46 thousand years. More important investments in research are needed. In the future we will be able to bring back to life even viruses from millions of years ago. This may allow us to study a world of which we do not yet know anything”. Can it also become a danger? “Everything that is discovery is always an opportunity – Bassetti reflects. Naturally assuming that this information is well used”.