Symptoms are often misdiagnosed for another disease, Bacterial Meningitis that is caused by a relative parasite, Fasciola hepatica. Misdiagnosis prevents quick treatment and leads to a most certain death. Fast treatment will not insure survival, but is the only thing that will increase your chances. Naegleria fowleri is not an infectious disease nor is it transmitted through drinking contaminated water. The amoeba must enter through the nose to be pathogenic. Death is in result to PAM, a rapid brain infection that leads to the destruction of the brain tissue.
Stage 1 Symptoms: Begin within 1 to 7 days post amebic exposure and include severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting.
Stage 2 Symptoms: Include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, death usually occurs within 1 to 12 days of onset of stage 2 symptoms. Final cause of death is brain swelling and deterioration of tissue.
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