A minor dies of a brain-eating amoeba

Las Vegas, Nev. (FOX5) – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting a death from a common infection in warm freshwater.

The health district said a juvenile male died after an accidental drowning in Arizona’s Lake Mead in early October.

In Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Southern Nevada Health District reported that Nagleria fowleri The cause of the patient’s illness was confirmed.

Nagleria fowleri commonly found in lakes and rivers and in geothermal waters such as hot springs, according to the health district.

This organism can enter the human body through the nose and then travel to the brain. It cannot infect humans if swallowed and is not spread from person to person. The health district said the infection is rare but almost always fatal.

Symptoms of this brain infection include headache, fever, nausea or vomiting. Symptoms progress to seizures, convulsions, and coma, which can lead to death.

“My condolences go out to the young man’s family,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, health district health officer. “While I would like to reassure the public that this type of infection is an extremely rare occurrence, I know it is of no comfort to his family and friends at this time.”

SNHD said the amoeba occurs naturally and is not present for routine testing Nagleria fowleri.

Previous water tests have shown that it is regularly found in freshwater reservoirs, and although the risk is low, recreational water users should always be aware that there is a risk when entering warm freshwater.

Recommended actions from the CDC include:

  • Avoid jumping or diving into hot water, especially in summer.
  • Keep your nose covered, use nose clips, or keep your head out of the water when in hot water.
  • Avoid submerging your head in hot springs and other untreated geothermal waters.
  • Do not soak or stir the sediment in shallow warm water.

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