Charles L. Rosen, MD, PhD
Neurosurgeon in Central Illinois

Last year I got asked a lot about the terrible tragedy related to the brain eating Amoeba or brain eating bug as it’s called in the press. First off, these are relatively uncommon. They are horrific when they occur, but they’re not common. What it is, is that there is a microscopic organism. It’s different than bacteria that we think of, in that this is technically a one-celled animal–an animal than is only one-celled in size. It’s not a bacteria, it’s not a plant, and it tends to flourish in warm water and it can pass into the brain, through the area in the skull where your smell nerves enter the nose.

So if you go in sort of a warm pond, tends to be more stagnant water, not rivers or big lakes. It tends to be smaller bodies of water, more typically in the south where it’s warm–a warmer, long period of time. If that water comes in contact with your nasal passages, the bug can make it through the smell nerve area up into the brain. This Amoeba does destroy the brain and it can be a very quick and very fatal. Avoid small bodies of water that don’t look particularly clean and the chance of this occurring is low. I don’t think you should shy away from enjoying summer fun.

Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing relating symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

 

Meet Dr. Rosen

Dr. Rosen most recently served as Department Chair of Neurological Surgery at West Virginia University (WVU) School of Medicine from 2012 through 2017, following his 2011 appointment as Interim Department Chair.

He joined the faculty at WVU in 2001 and held various positions in the WVU Department of Neurosurgery, including vice chair, director of research and the neurosurgical research laboratories, and director of cranial base surgery.

He was professor of Neurosurgery and Program Director for Residency in Neurological Surgery in the WVU Department of Neurosurgery at WVU School of Medicine, among other academic and clinical roles.

If you would like to refer a patient to Dr. Rosen, please call 309-662-7500 ext 256

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Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing relating symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.