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 seemingly attributable to an an infection with a “brain-eating amoeba” that occurred after the kid swam in a neighborhood river, state well being officers introduced this week.

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

“Thousands and thousands 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 stream, in July, August, and September. Circumstances are extra ceaselessly recognized in southern states, however extra lately have been recognized farther north. Limiting the alternatives for freshwater to get into the nostril are the very best methods to cut 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 exams, Lindsay Huse, director of the Douglas County Well being Division, mentioned throughout a Wednesday information convention on the kid’s dying, NBC Information reported.

Huse mentioned 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, mentioned 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 mentioned.

The only-celled organism N. fowleri could be present in soil and in freshwater, equivalent to lakes, streams, scorching springs and rivers. It could actually infect folks 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 folks yearly in america and is often deadly, in accordance with 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, presumably contracting it whereas swimming in an Iowa lake.

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

“Just remember to are usually not partaking in actions which can be inflicting forceful water up the nostril equivalent to water snowboarding, excessive velocity tubing, these kinds of actions,” Huse mentioned.

Extra data

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

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