Thursday, 21 February, 2019

New Jersey man dies after contracting brain-eating parasite

Melissa Porter | 01 October, 2018, 17:12

The 29-year-old man died in New Jersey in September after falling ill with Naegleria fowleri.

CDC is assisting the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District on an investigation into a potential Naegleria fowleri exposure at an aquatic facility.

Kelly Craine, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District spokesperson said, "The CDC collected water samples and are now investigating to find the source".

Samples from the pool have been collected for testing, with preliminary results expected later this week.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reportedly testing BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort for Naegleria fowleri.

Parsons said the park has voluntarily closed pending the results of the CDC testing.

Doctors first thought he was suffering from meningitis, but tests revealed he had Naegleria fowleri the day before his death, when it was too late to treat the infection.

But the infection is very rare, and according to the CDC, there have been about 35 cases reported in the the last decade. The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals.

The infection, which can cause a deadly infection called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, usually occurs when contaminated water enters a person's nose, the CDC said.

No other sites tested showed contamination, according to the water system. The fatality rate, however, is more than 97%, with just four people surviving of the 143 reported infections in the United States between 1962 and 2017.

In rare cases, the amoeba has been found in inadequately chlorinated swimming pools and even tap water.

Once symptoms begin, the disease progresses rapidly and typically causes death in five days.