Naegleria fowleri — Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) — Amebic Encephalitis
Naegleria fowleri is an ameba (single-celled living organism) that lives in soil and warm fresh water, such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs. It is commonly called the “brain-eating ameba” because it can cause a brain infection when water containing the ameba goes up the nose. Only about three people in the United States get infected each year, but these infections are usually fatal.
Infections are treated with a combination of drugs. It is still unclear how well these drugs work.
People get infected when water containing the ameba goes up their nose, usually while swimming.