Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Man Dies After Contracting Brain-Eating Amoeba at North Carolina Water Park

Guilford County North Carolina RARE Gray contracted a rare disease amebic meigeoncephalitis
Anna Jefferson | 27 July, 2019, 01:14

The unnamed person became sick after swimming in Delusion Lake Water Park in Hope Mills in Cumberland County on July 12. His death was caused "by an amoeba that is naturally present in warm freshwater during the summer", the state Health Department said, per the Observer.

"Our sympathies are with the family and loved ones", Zack Moore, North Carolina's state epidemiologist, said in a statement. The organism is commonly referred to as the brain-eating amoeba and can kill if it enters the body through the nose, the NCDHHS notes.

His family has asked "for privacy and respect during this hard time", his wife's attorney, Justin Plummer, told the station. After the outbreak of flesh-eating bacteria, brain-eating amoeba is keeping people away from their favourite water sports.

From the nose, the CDC says, the organism travels up to the brain where it destroys tissue.

Five of those cases were in North Carolina, state officials said.

Interim director of the Cumberland County Health Department, Duane Holder, emphasized that "diving, jumping in from heights and maybe some of the forceful activity of submerging" are all activities that put swimmers at risk, according to WRAL.

From 1962 to 2018, there were just 145 cases of Naegleria fowleri reported in the USA, according to NCDHH.

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It infects people when it is able to enter the body through the nose, usually when people go out swimming. He died 10 days later, on Monday, after developing an illness caused by the amoeba.

While there is no way to eliminate the amoeba from freshwater lakes, health officials said they are working with the water park on how to educate the public about Naegleria fowleri.

The amoeba also killed an OH college student who went underwater at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte in 2016.

You can not be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water and the amoeba is not found in salt water.

However, it is not infectious when the water when swallowed. Later symptoms include confusion, stiff neck, loss of balance, lack of attention to people and surroundings, seizures and hallucinations.

NTD reporter Zachary Stieber and The CNN Wire contributed to this article.

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