A MAN has died weeks after being infected by brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a lake during a trip to Iowa.
The Missouri man is believed to have contracted Naegleria fowleri while visiting the Lake of Three Fires in Taylor County.
A man has died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba in early JulyCredit: Getty
The Missouri man became infected with the rare disease while swimming in Lake of Three Fires during a visit to Iowa, officials saidCredit: KCCI
The unidentified man had been hospitalized at a Jefferson City hospital since coming down with the rare infection in early July.
The detection of Naegleria fowleri in the patient shocked doctors and raised concerns about the life-threatening disease.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Naegleria is a single-celled ameba that can cause a rare, life-threatening brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis.
The CDC says the amoeba lives in warm freshwaters, such as lakes, rivers, ponds, hot springs and soil.
Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose.
The amoeba then travels up the nose to the brain, where it destroys brain tissue.
It’s the first confirmed case in the state in 35 years, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said.
Since 1962, only 154 known cases have been identified in the US.
The only other case identified in a Missouri resident occurred in 1987, according to DHSS.
There were three cases of Naegleria fowleri-related infections reported in the US in 2021, according to the CDC’s most recent data.
Last year, a three-year-old boy died after contracting the waterborne brain-eating amoeba from a splash pad at a park in Texas.
The amoeba cannot spread from one person to another and cannot be contracted by swallowing contaminated water.
Symptoms can include severe headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, altered mental state, and hallucinations.
Health officials said people could take action to reduce the risk of infection by limiting the amount of water going up the nose.
People are encouraged to hold their noses shut by using nose clips or keeping their heads above water when participating in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.
Experts also advise people to avoid putting their heads under the water in hot springs and other untreated thermal waters.
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