When you think of swimming and all the terrifying ways you can potentially die while you swim, and especially in a lake or open area water body, nothing like a brain-eating virus comes to mind. But now, that should be put into consideration and make you highly cautious about where you enjoy your favorite hobby.
This came about after an Oklahoma family lost their daughter to a brain-eating amoeba and now, three years later, they are putting effort to raising awareness about the risks the virus poses.
Their 24-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Knight, in 2015 went for a dip in the lake. According to her father, a day after her swimming, she started to complain of severe headaches that were now turning to migraines. She was taken to the Emergency Room and treated for the migraines by the doctors. Unfortunately, the medicine did not kick in as thing became worse than before.
She began to lose her ability to walk and talk. She also caught a fever, developed nausea and started to vomit. So, the 24-year-old returned to hospital but it was already too late even though the doctors had correctly diagnosed the issue causing her discomfort.
Her mom, Alonie, revealed that Elizabeth’s brain was lacking any activity.
Elizabeth eventually succumbed to the illness and was survived by two young children. Her mother also confesses that Elizabeth’s children, her grandchildren, have such a similarity to their mother, which it’s a bitter-sweet realization for her- it warms her heart and at the same time crushes it.
The McKowns family, after going through the unfortunate incidence, has then decided to raise awareness on this deadly virus that attacks victims swimming in fresh water bodies. They do not wish for another family to experience the painful ordeal they went through.
Its infections’ mortality rate ranging at 98 percent to 99 percent has good news to it. It is treatable when and if the virus symptoms are detected in their early stages.
This bacterium, Naegleria fowleri, is not so much experienced by health professionals and they therefore lack some knowledge over it.
This fresh-water living bacteria enter the human body through the nose and it is therefore advisable to swim while in such water bodies wearing a nose clip. This prevents water from entering into your nose.
Although the McKowns are medical specialists, they were unaware of this killer virus and only came to terms with it after their daughter’s death.
Alonie explains that the virus will travel from the human nosal cavity all the way to the brain where it slowly kills the brain tissues.
So next time you of swimming and are afraid of sharks pouncing on you, also consider that tiny unseen viruses can be harmful.