HOPE MILLS, NC
A man is dead after an amoeba has swum on a lake causing a fatal brain infection.
The man got ill after swimming at Fantasy Lake Water Park at Hope Mills on July 22, according to the North Carolina Department of Health.
The swimmer was identified as Eddie Gray of Colfax. When eating amoebas, Gray entered the body through the nose and caused the deadly brain infection – the primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.
"PAM is difficult to detect as the disease progresses rapidly, so the diagnosis is usually made after death," stated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People usually die within 1
Naegleria fowleri is naturally present in warm water and carries no risk when wallowing.
It is only a risk if it enters the body via the nose.
"We have compassion for the family and relatives," said state epidemiologist Zack Moore, MD They are found in warm freshwater lakes, rivers, and hot springs in North Carolina. So remember, if you swim or do water sports.
Symptoms of amoeba infection include severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, and the progression of neck stiffness and seizures and coma.
Between 1962 and 2018, there were only 145 known infections by Naegleria fowleri in the USA.
Duane Holder, interim director of the Cumberland County Health Department, estimates that this is the first case in the county's Naegleria fowleri.
There is no way to remove the amoebae from freshwater lakes.
NCDHHS has provided these tips to help prevent the amoeba from entering your nose:
- Limit the amount of water that flows into your nose. Close your nose, use nose clips or keep your head afloat when engaging in activities related to warm fresh water.
- Avoid activities associated with warm fresh water at high water temperatures and low water levels.
- Avoid burying or agitating the sediment during water activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.