Rare brain-eating amoeba kills swimmer days after visit to NC water park

(Photo: MGN / Allan Ajifo / CC BY 2.0)

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NC (WTVD) — A person from Guilford County has died from a brain-eating amoeba contracted at a water park in North Carolina, according to the state’s department of heath.

The person got sick after swimming at Fantasy Lake Water Park in Cumberland County on July 12.

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Testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the person’s illness was caused by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater.

“Our sympathies are with the family and loved ones,” said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, M.D. “People should be aware that this organism is present in warm freshwater lakes, rivers and hot springs across North Carolina, so be mindful as you swim or enjoy water sports.”

Naegleria fowleri does not cause illness if swallowed, but can be fatal if forced up the nose–which can happen to people when diving, water-skiing or doing other water activities.

Click here to read more at WTVD.