A swimmer has died after contracting brain-eating amoeba like what's pictured here under magnification. Reports say she was exposed at a water park in North Carolina. (iStock)
A swimmer has died after contracting brain-eating amoeba like what's pictured here under magnification. Reports say she was exposed at a water park in North Carolina. (iStock)

Brain-eating amoeba kills swimmer

A US man has died from a rare brain-eating amoeba after swimming in a man-made lake at a water park, North Carolina officials say.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources says the infection was caused by the amoeba naturally present in warm freshwater during the summer.

The man became sick after swimming in Fantasy Lake Water Park in Hope Mills in Cumberland County on July 12.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it was caused by Naegleria fowleri, a single-celled organism known as the brain-eating amoeba.

It can be fatal if forced up the nose but does not cause illness if swallowed.

Symptoms typically begin with severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting and progress to stiff neck, seizures and coma.

The amoeba can cause severe illness up to nine days after exposure.

Health officials say the amoeba is known to have infected just 145 people in the US from 1962 to 2018.


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