Fatal brain-eating amoeba infection may be linked to Florida tap water used in nasal rinse: Officials
Naegleria fowleri. (NIH.gov)

A rare brain-eating infection appears to be the cause of a Florida person’s death, officials said.

The person tested positive for the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, and their death may be linked to tap water used in a nasal rinse, according to a Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County news release.

“Infection with Naegleria fowleri is RARE and can only happen when water contaminated with amoebae enters the body through the nose,” the agency said in a statement.

“You CANNOT be infected by drinking tap water.”

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Naegleria fowleri infection destroys brain tissue and causes brain swelling and has a death rate of 97 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just four of the 154 people with confirmed infections have survived the illness.

Symptoms of infection include headache, fever, nausea, disorientation, seizures, loss of balance and hallucinations.

The Charlotte County case is under investigation, a Florida Department of Health spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNN.

“An Epidemiological investigation is being conducted to understand the unique circumstances of this infection,” FDH press secretary Jae Williams told the outlet.

“I can confirm the infection unfortunately resulted in a death, and any additional information on this case is confidential to protect patient privacy.”