Naegleria infection causes a disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (muh-ning-go-un-sef-uh-LIE-tis). This disease causes brain inflammation and destruction of brain tissue.
Generally beginning within two to 15 days of exposure to the amoeba, signs and symptoms of naegleria infection may include:
- A change in the sense of smell or taste
- Sudden headache
- Stiff neck
- Sensitivity to light
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of balance
These signs and symptoms can progress rapidly. They typically lead to death within a week.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck and vomiting.
Aug. 04, 2012
- Parasites — Naegleria. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/index.html. Accessed April 19, 2012.
- Long SS, et al. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/177544974-4/936603208/1679/273.html#4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06687-0..50272-1_4741. Accessed April 24, 2011.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0755-7..00272-4&isbn=978-1-4377-0755-7&uniqId=331103986-4#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0755-7..00272-4--s0010. Accessed April 20, 2012.