A very rare type of infection, naegleria infection is a fatal one. An amoeba known as naegleria fowleri is the one responsible for causing this rare and fatal infection. This amoeba is found in rivers, freshwater lakes and hot springs. You may encounter this amoeba while swimming or performing other water sports. (2)
The infection from this amoeba leads to a disease called PAM or primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, which is extremely fatal.
Home Remedies For Naegleria Infection
Naegleria infection is an extremely fatal infection. Despite carrying out the treatment as early as possible, it is extremely a rare chance to survive this infection. Early diagnosis and treatment, however, are of prime importance if you are to have any chance of survival.
Given the rare and fatal disposition of this disease, it is extremely dangerous to rely on any home remedies or natural remedies in the hope of benefitting from these. Prompt diagnosis and an efficient and a quick treatment are the key to getting a cure from this dangerous condition.
Since naegleria fowleri infection is so rare and extremely fatal, it is difficult to compare one study of treatment regimen with the other. It would be very much unethical to perform any comparative studies, since the condition progresses very rapidly to a fatal one. The current treatment hence focuses on using an intensive method of treatment and one which is known to be successful from prior usage. (1)
The drug used to treat fungal infections- amphotericin B – is usually the drug of choice in treating naegleria infection. However, it is seen that many times this drug fails to give results if given alone. It is usually administered IV, however in addition to that, it can also be given directly in the spinal cord (intrathecally). Along with amphotericin, other antifungal drugs like fluconazole and miconazole can also be given intravenously and intrathecally. (1)
Some antibiotics can eliminate naegleria. These include azithromycin and rifampin. (1)
A medicine called miltefosine is a breakthrough in the treatment of naegleria. It has proven to be very effective in treatment of this fatal condition. (1)
Apart from antimicrobial drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs are also used to reduce the swelling in brain. Brain swelling is also reduced by inserting a shunt tube to drain te excess spinal fluid. The process is known as ventriculostomy. Hypothermia, hyperventilation or artificial respiration techniques and coma may also be induced to decrease the swelling and protect eth function of brain, all the while the amoebae being killed. (1)
Prevention Of Naegleria Infection
Certain measures if taken can help in reducing the risk of getting naegleria infection and can thus help in preventing it. These may include-
- Not swimming in warm water bodies, freshwater lakes and rivers and jumping into hot springs
- Not disturbing the sediment at the bottom of the shallow warm water bodies by plunging too deep
- Using nose clips or shutting the nose tightly so that water does not enter your nasal passages (2)
Symptoms Of Naegleria Infection
Naegleria infection results in a disease known as PAM or primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. In this disease, the brain tissue gets severely inflamed and destroyed.
The symptoms of this disease usually start between two to fifteen days of being exposed to the amoeba. These may include-
- Changed sense of taste and smell
- Neck stiffness
- Severe headaches that are sudden in onset
- Imbalance and vertigo
- Sleepiness or dizziness (2)
Naegleria infection is a very rare and dangerously fatal kind of infection. It progresses very rapidly and can lead to death within a week even after carrying out the treatment. An early diagnosis and a prompt and an efficient treatment are the keys to the survival from this disease. Home remedies are not advisable given the seriously fatal disposition of this disease.