Three children have died in three different locations in the United States after suffering rare infections from a type of amoeba that thrived in water and destroy the brain, CNN said.
Jonathan Yoder, the waterborne disease and outbreak surveillance coordinator at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called the amoeba as ‘Naegleria fowleri,’ the only type that infected humans, ‘flourished in the heat’ and warm waters where people swim, and worst of all, it was more than ’95 % lethal.’
The Disease Control Center recorded the first case for 2011 last June in Louisiana. The second case was a 16-year-old girl from Brevard County, Florida. And the third case was a 9-year-old boy reported by the Virginia Health Department.
In the case of the 16-year-old Florida girl, her mother, P.J. Nash-Ryder, said her daughter complained of a headache, threw up 20 times and ran a fever as high as 104 degrees, saying "she would sit up in bed and just look at me, and I would ask her what was wrong… She would say, 'I don't know… And I'd tell her to lay back down. Her eyes were rolling ... and she wouldn't shut them all the way."
To prevent infection, Yoder suggested holding the nose when swimming in warm fresh water because the amoeba enter the human body through the nose, and once it was lodged in it would start looking for food and could end up in the brain to eat neurons.
She however said such infections were extremely rare that only 32 cases were recorded by the center in 10 years.