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Amoeba Kills Swimmer: Brain-Eating Disease Contracted From Oklahoma Lake

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By    |   Friday, 14 Aug 2015 09:15 AM

A rare brain-eating amoeba has killed a swimmer who took a dip in an Oklahoma lake.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health said in a statement on Wednesday that the deadly infection, primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), was caused by an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. It was contracted from Lake Murray, located near the Texas border in the town of Ardmore.

"These disease-causing organisms are naturally present in most lakes, ponds, and rivers but multiply rapidly in very warm and stagnant water. Persons may be exposed to Naegleria fowleriameba when they dive or submerge their head in contaminated water. The ameba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue," read part of the statement.

The release did not provide any details about the gender of the person who died, when he or she contracted the amoeba, nor when he or she died. The person was said to be a young adult.

NBC Dallas Fort-Worth reported that Oklahoma has recorded seven cases of the disease since 1998. In Texas, State Health Services have recorded 28 cases since 1983.

"P.A.M does occur in otherwise healthy individuals. Usually young individuals who are playing and enjoying themselves in natural bodies of water like lakes, streams, rivers or ponds," Mendy Spohn, administrative director for the Carter County Health Department, told CBS affiliate KXII-TV.

Symptoms of PAM can include high fever, headaches, hallucinations, and seizures. Health experts recommend staying away from stagnant areas of lakes and rivers to avoid the disease, and also recommend nose plugs. Chlorinated swimming pools and hot tubs do not generally contain the amoeba, as the chlorine usually kills them.



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A rare brain-eating amoeba has killed a swimmer who took a dip in an Oklahoma lake.
amoeba, kills, swimmer, lake, brain eating, disease
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2015-15-14
Friday, 14 Aug 2015 09:15 AM
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