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Dr. Natasha
Dr. Natasha, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained
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This will sound crazy... but could I get that brain-eating

Customer Question

This will sound crazy... but could I get that brain-eating amoeba (N. fowleri) from getting a large amount of water up my nose during a mud run (Savage Race) in Maryland? I went down a water slide into water that was probably pumped in from a lake, and had hundreds of muddy people sliding into and got a lot of water up my nose (it hurt through my whole face). Today's day 8, and while I did catch a cold/cough after the race I don't have any other symptoms and the cold is going away now.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Hasan replied 1 year ago.

HI, Thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX and I am here to help you today. I will be happy to help you with your follow-up questions also. I need few details.

Have you had fever during this period?

Any symptoms like severe headache etc?

Regards

Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 1 year ago.

Hi
I was following your question.
The chance of you getting this infection is pretty much nil.
The thermophilic nature of N fowleri allows it to survive in waterways contaminated by thermal discharges from power plants, heated swimming pools, and even hot springs with temperatures up to 45°C (113°F)

So unless you were near any of these types of body of water, you would not get it
As well, there are many people who DO go in heated pools and do not get this infection. It is very very very very rare.

 

Most often, the first symptoms develop 2-5 days after the last exposure to contaminated water- you are day 8

I hope that this helped.

Please leave positive feedback if it did :-)

Dr. Natasha, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12097
Experience: American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained
Dr. Natasha and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No fever, no headache beyond a very slight one here and there because I was fighting a cold.

Expert:  Dr. Hasan replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your input. I am myself an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist so can help you. What make you thought of this disease? I want to know details before giving an answer. Regards
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 1 year ago.

THe symptoms of N. fowleri is like bacterial meningitis- it is very quick and severe:

Fever
Alteration in taste (ageusia) or smell (parosmia)
Sudden-onset headache (usually frontal or bitemporal)
High temperature (up to 40°C)
Nausea, vomiting, or both
Stiff neck

Mental status changes
Physical findings associated with encephalitis and eventual herniation (cranial nerve palsies, seizures, coma)
Rapid onset of coma and death (within 2 wk)

So, you would be pretty ill by now :-)

 

There was a great episode on HOUSE (Fox) where the patient got N. fowleri from pigeon poop in the drainage system. You should check it out :-)

Dr. Natasha, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12097
Experience: American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained
Dr. Natasha and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the rating :-)
I will check on you in a couple of days...

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Dr. Natasha
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American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained