Officials with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services are confirming a rare brain infection in a Missouri Resident.

They say the Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic single-celled free-living amoeba that can cause rare life-threatening infection of the brain.

In a release, they indicate that a patient is in an intensive care unit in a Missouri hospital, but does not give a location.

The extremely rare amoeba is found in warm freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds.

As of today, only 154 cases have been identified in the US since 1962, and only one of those cases in the Show Me State dating back to 1987.

 

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While the infection is rare, the Department of Health & Senior Services says this is how you can avoid the infection.

⋅ Hold your nose shut, use nose clips, or keep your head above water when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.

· Avoid putting your head under the water in hot springs and other untreated thermal waters.

· Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high-water temperature.

· Avoid digging in, or stirring up, the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.

 

The release also gave a list of possible symptoms and said if you experience these, then contact your health care provider immediately.

· Severe headache.

· Fever.

· Nausea.

· Vomiting.

· Stiff neck.

· Seizures.

· Altered mental status.

· Hallucinations.