Child’s death likely caused by amoeba infection from Elkhorn River – WOWT

Omaha, Neb.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working to confirm that the death was caused by primary amoebic meningitis after the child went swimming in the river on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Douglas County Health Department is urging extra caution when coming into contact with fresh water sources such as rivers, lakes and streams.

Nigeria Follieri It is present in many freshwater sources and is delimited further north as previously cooler areas became warmer and drier,” according to a DCHD statement.

A similar situation led to Missouri resident dies who may have been injured while swimming in Lake Iowa Last month. The lake was closed to swimmers for several days while the CDC tested the water to confirm the presence of Naegleria fowleri.

But a news release from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said, “The CDC does not recommend testing untreated rivers and lakes for Naegleria fowleri because the amoeba is naturally occurring and there is no consistent relationship between detection or concentration of Naegleria fowleri and infection risk.”

Health officials say the unicellular organism tends to enter the body through the nose.

Dr. Mark Robb, an infectious disease expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center tells 6 News.

Officials suggest keeping your head above water when swimming in rivers, lakes, and streams; Or block your nose when swimming or diving – or simply avoid fresh water in the last weeks of summer as water temperatures rise and water levels drop. The Ministry of Health also indicated that people cannot become infected by drinking contaminated water.

“The real tragedy behind this is that the treatments aren’t great and the mortality rate is very, very high, almost universal,” Dr. Rob says of this extremely rare disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 31 cases of Naegleria fowleri were reported in the United States between 2012 and 2021, and only 154 cases since 1962.

“Of these cases, 28 people were infected with recreational water, 2 people were infected after performing nasal irrigation using contaminated tap water, and 1 person was infected with contaminated tap water used in a sliding slide,” she said.

Symptoms – which usually occur within 12 days of infection – can include headache, fever, nausea or vomiting, but can progress to neck stiffness, confusion, and seizures. In the worst cases, other neurological symptoms are present, but the Ministry of Health has indicated that deaths from PAM usually occur within five days of infection.

Dr. Robb says that while deadly, there is a helpful treatment for the infection.

“The only drug that seems likely to have some beneficial effect is called miltefosine, and we’ve put it beforehand here at the Nebraska Medical Center in case anyone in our area has a specific infection,” he says. “We have this in stock and obviously act as a regional supplier if a case like this is identified when we can do something about it.”

KCRG staff contributed to this report.

Reporter Marlo Lundak contributed to the article.

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