Brain Eating Amoeba Infection Kills Girl

A Kansas girls who was just 9 years old, died after contracting a deadly infection from a brain-eating amoeba, said Kansas health department officials.

The Department of Health in Kansas said a 9-year old girl likely contracted the infections while swimming in a freshwater lake over the July 4 holiday weekend.

The officials said the risk of this type of infection is very low, but it is increased during summer when the temperatures of the water increases and more people are swimming.

Health officials said the deadly infection usually occurs when an amoeba enters a person’s body through its nose, while that person is underwater swimming or diving. The amoeba then travels to the person brain.

The Center for Disease Control said you could not be infected by drinking contaminated water with the amoeba, which is known as Naegleria fowleri.

Between 1962 and 2013, only 132 cases have been reported in the U.S., with 34 of them occurring between 2004 and 2013. The majority of cases have taken place in states in the south.

The Department of Health in Kansas said the symptoms appear usually five days after the person has been infected and do not spread from person to person.

The officials also said a person could not become infected from a swimming pool that is properly maintained.

Though there is an extremely low risk of being infected, precautions can be followed that will decrease the infections possibilities even more.

While swimming hold your nose shut, use clips on your nose or maintain your head above the water.

Avoid lowering your head under the water in untreated thermal water or hot springs.

Avoid activities that are water related in freshwater, during periods when the water is a high temperature.

Scientists said there is no way known to control the occurrence in freshwater rivers and lakes of the Naeglaria fowleri.

The occurrence rate is extremely low considering the number of people swimming in fresh water rivers and lakes throughout the southern part of the U.S. during the summer.