Rare ‘brain-eating’ amoeba confirmed in Florida

Case of rare 'brain eating' amoeba reportedly confirmed in Florida

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A rare "brain-eating amoeba" was diagnosed in a person in Florida, county health officials said.

A confirmed case of Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic amoeba found in warm freshwater environments that infects the brain and is usually fatal, was announced Friday by the Florida Department of Health.

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Health officials did not disclose the person's identity or the body of water where the person might have been infected, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

The amoeba can lead to primary amebic meningoencephalitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A person can be infected through contaminated water entering their nose. The amoeba is more prevalent during the summer months when water levels are lower and temperatures are higher. Symptoms include fever, nausea and headaches.

There have been 37 reported cases of the amoeba in Florida since 1962.