Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Child After Swimming in Lake

A North Carolina child has died as the result of infection by a brain-eating amoeba that the youth contracted swimming in lake. The rare fatal infection involved a freshwater amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri. The amoeba is a one-celled organism found in freshwater.

Although a fatal infection caused by Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba is fairly common in bodies of fresh water in the United States. In nearly all instances, exposure to Naegleria fowleri provides harmless. There are isolated exceptions however, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC advises that Naegleria fowleri can be swallowed by a person and remain completely harmless. A potentially deadly Naegleria fowleri can arise when the amoeba is forced up a person’s nose. The Naegleria fowleri amoeba can be forced up a person’s nose when an individual is engaged in certain types of aquatic activities that include:

  • Diving into water
  • Jumping into water
  • Water skiing
  • Jet skiing
  • And similar types or recreational activities in fresh water

In the case of the unnamed child, he was swimming in a private pond in central North Carolina in early August. The child became sick after the time spent in the pond. Laboratory testing revealed that the boy was infected with Naegleria fowleri.

The primary symptoms of a Naegleria fowleri infection are:

  • Severe headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma

As happened with the boy who contracted a Naegleria fowleri through water in a private North Carolina pond, this type of infection can end in death.

Symptoms associated with a Naegleria fowleri infection typically develop within one to nice days after exposure to the amoeba. People infected with Naegleria fowleri typically die within one to 18 days after symptoms appear.

As noted previously, deadly Naegleria fowleri infection is not at all common. Between 1962 and 2019, there were 147 recorded cases of Naegleria fowleri infection in the United States. The amoeba thrives in warmer water. Naegleria fowleri grows best when the water temperature reaches 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

If a person in fact contracts a Naegleria fowleri infection, the condition is nearly always fatal. Of the 147 cases recorded in the time period set forth a moment ago, only four people survived the infection.

A six-year-old Texas boy died from this type of infection in September 2020. In the case of the Texas child, Naegleria fowleri was said to have been in the municipal water system. The child contracted the infection either through a garden hose or while at a water play area.

A year earlier, a man contracted a Naegleria fowleri infection as well. Officials determined that the man contracted Naegleria fowleri at a North Carolina waterpark in July 2019.

While many aquatic accidents involve drowning, not all are classified in this manner. Every year, men, women, and children are injured and killed in other types of aquatic accidents. If you’ve lost a family member in some type of aquatic accident, or if you personally have been injured in that type of incident, the experienced legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. You can connect with a caring, tenacious aquatic accident lawyer at our firm by calling us at (800) 349-0000. We keep our drowning accident lawyer and aquatic accident attorney phone line staffed every day of the year and around the clock. This includes all major holidays.

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