OAN’s Abril Elfi
6:13 PM – Monday, July 31, 2023
A Georgia resident has recently died from a brain-eating amoeba, which is thought to have been contracted while swimming in a freshwater lake or pond.
On Friday, the Georgia Department of Public Health released a statement regarding the death of a resident who contracted a brain-eating amoeba, known as “Naegleria fowleri.”
Officials say the victim most likely contracted the infection while swimming in a freshwater lake or pond.
“A Georgia resident has died from Naegleria fowleri infection, a rare infection which destroys brain tissue, causing brain swelling and usually death,” the health department said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Naegleria fowleri is a single-cell that lives in soil and warm, fresh water. The brain-eating cell reportedly infects individuals when it enters the nose through contaminated water and then later drifts to the brain.
The CDC also stated that it causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain disease that is almost always fatal. The amoeba is so tiny that it can only be seen by a microscope.
Medical expert Dr. Aftab Khan claims that once contracted, the infection can spread rapidly.
“Usually within 1 to 5 days, a person can go from severe headache to coma and then die,” Dr. Khan said.
The news comes after a 2-year-old in Nevada recently passed away after reportedly contracting Naegleria fowleri. Reports say that the toddler had been swimming in a natural hot spring.
As stated by the CDC, only four out of 154 people in the United States who have been infected by the brain-eating amoeba since 1962 have survived.
The Georgia Department of Public Health has not released any further information regarding the patient or what fresh body of water the infection was contracted from.
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