Missouri man dies after contracting brain-eating amoeba while swimming in Iowa lake

Missouri man dies after contracting brain-eating amoeba while swimming in Iowa lake
A brain-eating amoeba infected a man in Missouri (DHSS)

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services stated on Friday that a patient from Missouri passed away after contracting a brain-eating amoeba following a visit to a lake in Iowa. According to The Associated Press, the patient died from "primary amebic meningoencephalitis." This is typically a fatal condition brought on by the naegleria fowleri amoeba.
The Des Moines Register was the first to report on the Missouri resident's death. The patient, whose identity has not been revealed, was in the intensive care unit when he passed away.


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According to The Register, Lisa Cox, the communications director for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said, "Because these cases are so incredibly rare and out of respect for the family, we do not intend to release additional information about the patient which could lead to the person’s identification."
The illness was identified by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on July 6. Authorities thought the patient had swum in a suspected amoebic lake in late June in Iowa. The patient is thought to have acquired the amoeba at the Lake of Three Fires in Taylor County, Iowa, which was closed earlier this month as a "precautionary measure."
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services cautioned in a tweet that the amoeba "isn't contagious," but if a person is infected, it can be fatal. The tweet said: "Although rare, infection can occur when water containing Naegleria fowleri enters through the nose from warm freshwater. The amoeba travels up the nose to the brain, where it destroys brain tissue. This infection isn’t contagious and can’t be contracted by swallowing water. "


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that primary amebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri has a death rate of above 97 percent. It is frequently caught in rivers and lakes, according to the CDC. Only four people have survived Naegleria fowleri out of the 154 instances that have been documented in the United States.
According to the CDC, this is potentially the first case of primary amebic meningoencephalitis recorded in Iowa. The symptoms include severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status, and hallucinations, according to The Register. One should contact a doctor right away if they experience any of the symptoms after swimming in any warm water body, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services recommends.


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The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services tweeted: "It’s strongly believed by public health experts that the lake is a likely source, but we are not limiting the investigation to that source because it hasn’t been confirmed. Additional public water sources in Missouri are being tested. "


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