Florida residents warned of brain-eating amoeba in tap water

Florida's health department warned an area containing 200,000 people of Naegleria fowleri in Charlotte County's tap water a week after a man died from infection of the brain-eating amoeba. 

In rare instances, the amoeba can cause a brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis. The infection kills brain tissue, leading to severe brain swelling and death in most cases, according to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's website

As the Florida Department of Health investigates the detected case, it urged Charlotte County residents to use only distilled water, sterile water or boil tap water for at least one minute before using it. The department also warned people to not allow water to go up their noses when bathing, washing their face or swimming, according to a March 2 news release.

Other activities to avoid include slip and slides, diving headfirst into swimming pools and baths, and playing with hoses and sprinklers. The health department is distributing nasal clips while supplies last. 

"Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following symptoms after a nasal water exposure, such as a sinus rinse: headache, fever, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, loss of balance or hallucinations," the health department said in the release.

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