Brain-Eating Amoeba Claims Life of Georgia Resident

It's the 3rd death attributed to the amoeba this year
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2023 2:22 PM CDT
Brain-Eating Amoeba Claims 3rd Victim of Year
The infectious form of the parasite Naegleria fowleri is shown in a 3D illustration.   (Getty Images / Dr_Microbe)

The rare brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri has claimed another victim, this one in Georgia. The state's Department of Public Health announced the death on Friday without providing much in the way of details: Neither the Georgia resident's name nor age were given, and while the release noted "the individual was likely infected while swimming in a freshwater lake or pond," the location of the suspected body of water wasn't named.

The release specifies that the amoeba is found in "warm, freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, and hot springs," but not in salt water or "properly treated drinking water and swimming pools." It can cause a brain infection when water containing it is ingested via the nose. "It cannot infect people if swallowed and is not spread from person to person." This marks the sixth confirmed case of Naegleria fowleri infection in Georgia since 1962, per NBC News.

It's also the third confirmed case in the US this year. A 2-year-old boy from Nevada died this month and a Florida man died in February. The years 2019, 2020, and 2021 saw three cases each as well. USA Today reports the survival rate since 1962 has been just 3%, with only four people known to have survived the infection. (More Naegleria fowleri stories.)

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