After a man died in February from a brain-eating amoeba

After a man died in February from a brain-eating amoeba,

residents of Florida were warned about tap water. CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. – Nearly a quarter million Floridians are being told not to wash their faces with tap water.

The advice, which is applicable to the nearly 200,000 people who live in Charlotte County, was issued following the passing of a county resident on February 20.

Officials believe the unidentified man contracted the fatal infection by rinsing his sinuses and washing his face with infected tap water.

Naegleria fowleri, a tiny, single-celled amoeba, rarely causes infections. When contaminated water enters the nose, the infection, which is known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), occurs.

There are no known effective treatments for the disease, which kills approximately 97% of those who contract it. From 1962 to 2021, the infection has only killed four Americans.

RELATED: A man in Florida died after contracting a brain-eating infection while rinsing his sinuses with tap water. The CDC told FOX 4 Fort Myers that this is the first case in Florida where a person was infected by tap water. It is also the first case in the United States to occur in the winter.

A disease specialist at the University of Florida, Dr. Mobeen Rathore, advised that all Charlotte County residents refrain from drinking tap water during this time.

“You should avoid any water going into the nose, at least for the time being,” Dr. Rathore told The Daily Mail, “unless it’s cleared [by authorities]. Avoid getting anything in the nose while taking a shower.

RELATED: Amoeba that eats brain: Where it lives, what it looks like, and how to avoid getting it. If it happens, people are told to boil the water first. Officials emphasized that drinking tap water cannot transmit the infection.

The Florida Department of Health tweeted on Friday, “Infection with Naegleria fowleri is EXTREMELY RARE and can only occur when water contaminated with amoebae enters the body through the nose.” Drinking tap water will not cause you to contract the disease.

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