Naegleria fowleri is a “free-living, single-celled microscopic amoeba that can cause a rare and life-threatening infection of the brain called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM),” the agency said.
“MAP is extremely rare. Since 1962, only 154 known cases have been identified in the United States,” the statement said.
Infections caused by Naegleria fowleri can occur when water where the amoeba is present enters the body through a person’s nose and then travels to the brain where it destroys brain tissue, the Department of Health said. health. The infection is not contagious and cannot be caused by ingesting contaminated water.
The health department is working with the CDC to test the lake water and “confirm the presence of Naegleria fowleri,” which will take several days, according to the statement.
No additional suspected cases are currently being investigated in Missouri or Iowa, the agency said.
Symptoms begin with severe headaches, fever, nausea and vomiting before escalating into seizures, hallucinations and coma, according to the CDC.
According to the CDC, it takes about five days after infection for the first symptoms of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis to appear. The disease progresses rapidly and usually leads to death between one and 18 days after the onset of symptoms.