Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Student After Swim

Kerry Stoutenburgh, 19, died Aug. 31
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 13, 2016 4:40 PM CDT
This combo of images provided by the Center for Disease Control shows the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in the cyst stage, left, trophozoite stage, center and the flagellated stage, right.   (AP Photo/Center For Disease Control)

(Newser) – Health officials say a New York college student has died of a rare brain infection she probably contracted while swimming in a body of fresh water in Maryland, the AP reports. A spokesman for the Cecil County health department in northeastern Maryland says it was notified by New York state officials of the death. Speaking by phone on Tuesday, spokesman Gregg Bortz says New York officials identified the student as 19-year-old Kerry Stoutenburgh of Kingston, New York. The Daily Freeman reports that Dr. Carol Smith, health commissioner in Ulster County, New York, says officials there confirmed that Stoutenburgh's death on Aug. 31 was caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, often called the "brain-eating amoeba."

Bortz says the amoeba occurs naturally in bodies of warm, fresh water. He says Stoutenburgh visited Maryland in mid-August and swam in county waters. (Read more Naegleria fowleri stories.)

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