Watch CBSN Live

Brain-eating amoeba rare but deadly: How to stay safe

It's like something out of a horror movie. That's what people are saying about the "brain-eating" amoeba blamed for the deaths of three teens in recent weeks. The single-celled organisms go by the scientific name Naegleria folweri, and are believed to have infected the teens as they swam in lakes or rivers. Are the bugs found in swimming pools too? How do they get into the brain? And what can be done to limit the risk? For answers to those and other questions about Naegleria, keep clicking... CDC Public Health Image Library

(CBS) Worried about brain-eating amoeba? That's no idle question, given that three children have died recently after becoming infected with Naegleria fowleria, as the amoeba are known in scientific circles.

PICTURES - Brain-eating amoeba: How to stay safe from Naegleria fowleri

The deaths - which occurred in Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana - apparently resulted from primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a devastating brain infection linked to the single-cell microorganisms.

Naegleria fowleri infections are rare but notoriously deadly. Of 118 people known to have had the infection since 1962, only one survived, CDC epidemiologist Jonathan Yoder told Reuters. The average age of victims is 12.

Want to know more about Naegleria fowleri, and what you can do to minimize your risk? Click here to learn more.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue