Brain-Eating Amoeba May Have Caused Nebraska Child’s Death


By Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2022 (HealthDay Information) – The dying of a kid in Nebraska was probably attributable to an an infection with a “brain-eating amoeba” that occurred after the kid swam in an area river, state well being officers introduced this week.

In a information launch, officers stated it was the primary such dying ever reported within the state’s historical past. Often known as Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba could cause main amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a mind an infection that’s extraordinarily uncommon, however almost all the time deadly.

“Tens of millions of leisure water exposures happen every year, whereas solely 0 to eight Naegleria fowleri infections are recognized every year,” state epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Donahue famous within the information launch. “Infections usually happen later in the summertime, in hotter water with slower movement, in July, August, and September. Circumstances are extra steadily recognized in southern states, however extra not too long ago have been recognized farther north. Limiting the alternatives for freshwater to get into the nostril are the most effective methods to scale back the danger of an infection.”

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention is working to verify the reason for the kid’s dying via checks, Lindsay Huse, director of the Douglas County Well being Division, stated throughout a Wednesday information convention on the kid’s dying, NBC Information reported.

Huse stated the kid had gone swimming on Aug. 8 in Nebraska’s Elkhorn River, turned symptomatic 5 days later and was hospitalized inside 48 hours after signs started.

The kid, who authorities haven’t launched further details about out of respect for the household, died on Aug. 18, Dr. Kari Neemann, medical advisor for Douglass County, stated throughout a information convention on the dying.

“Proper now, we’re merely urging the general public to bear in mind and take precautions when they’re being uncovered to any heat, freshwater sources,” Huse stated.

The one-celled organism N. fowleri might be present in soil and in freshwater, akin to lakes, streams, scorching springs and rivers. It might infect individuals when contaminated water goes up the nostril. The amoeba has been present in Northern states extra usually as local weather change fuels rising air and water temperatures.

The amoeba infects about three individuals yearly in the USA and is often deadly, in response to the CDC. A complete of 154 identified amebic meningoencephalitis infections occurred between 1962 and 2021. Solely 4 of these contaminated survived.

A Missouri resident additionally died from an infection with the amoeba in July, probably contracting it whereas swimming in an Iowa lake.

Swimmers ought to attempt to stop water from getting into their noses by plugging their noses if going underwater in freshwater, Huse stated. Well being officers additionally recommend not stirring up sediment in shallow heat water. Swallowing water doesn’t trigger this an infection.

“Just be sure you should not partaking in actions which can be inflicting forceful water up the nostril akin to water snowboarding, excessive pace tubing, these kinds of actions,” Huse stated.

Extra data

The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has extra on brain-eating amoeba.


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