A resident of Arkansas has tragically died from an uncommon and deadly infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba. Health authorities made this announcement on Thursday. They say the person had been exposed to the amoeba at a local country club’s splash pad.
The infection, known as Naegleria fowleri, is exceptionally rare but devastating. It mercilessly attacks brain tissue, leading to brain swelling and, in many instances, death.
The Arkansas Department of Health has not yet confirmed a deceased person’s age, which also emphasized that there is currently no ongoing risk to the general public resulting from this exposure.
The investigation conducted by the department pointed to the Country Club of Little Rock’s splash pad as the probable source of exposure for the individual who succumbed to the infection. Subsequently, multiple samples from the country club’s pool and splash pad were dispatched to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for analysis. Regrettably, the CDC confirmed the presence of viable Naegleria fowleri in one of the splash pad samples.
In response to these findings, the country club voluntarily closed the pool and the splash pad. These facilities remain shuttered as a precautionary measure. The Arkansas Department of Health has maintained a cooperative dialogue with the country club throughout the investigative process.
How does this Amoeba get into your body?
According to the CDC, Naegleria fowleri enters a person’s body through the nose after exposure to amoeba-containing water. Typically occurs during activities like swimming, diving, or submerging one’s head in freshwater bodies such as lakes and rivers. Health officials consider it crucial to maintain proper disinfection levels. And keep pools and splash pads free from soil contamination.
It’s essential to note that individuals cannot contract Naegleria fowleri by consuming contaminated water, as highlighted by the CDC. The last reported case of this infection in Arkansas dates back to 2013. This amoeba is exceptionally rare, infecting only approximately three individuals in the United States annually. But The outcome of such infections is almost invariably fatal.