A boy has died after being contaminated by a uncommon brain-eating amoeba, which officers imagine he could have been uncovered to at Lake Mead, the Southern Nevada Health District introduced Wednesday.
The juvenile could have encountered the organism, referred to as Naegleria fowleri, within the park’s Kingman Wash space, situated on the Arizona aspect of the lake close to Hoover Dam, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area mentioned in a launch.
Officials didn’t launch the identify or actual age of the one that died, however mentioned he was beneath 18 years outdated.
“This is the primary confirmed fatality brought on by Naegleria Fowleri exposure at Lake Mead National Recreation Area,” the park mentioned.
The microscopic amoeba is often present in heat freshwater, however infections are uncommon, in response to the CDC. Only 31 Naegleria fowleri infections have been reported within the U.S. between 2012 and 2021, the CDC mentioned. While infections are unusual, they’re nearly all the time deadly.
Someone can grow to be contaminated when water containing the amoeba enters their nostril, sometimes when swimming, diving or placing their head underwater, the CDC mentioned. It cannot trigger an infection if swallowed and doesn’t unfold from individual to individual.
This is at least the third deadly Naegleria fowleri an infection this 12 months, together with a baby in Nebraska who fell sick after swimming in a river and a Missouri man who contracted the an infection at a seaside.
An investigation by the Southern Nevada Health District decided the boy could have been uncovered in early October and commenced growing signs a couple of week later, the district mentioned.
“My condolences exit to the household of this younger man,” mentioned Southern Nevada District Health Officer Dr. Fermin Leguen. “While I need to reassure the general public that the sort of an infection is an especially uncommon prevalence, I do know this brings no consolation to his household and buddies at this time.”
The National Park Service will proceed to permit leisure swimming at Lake Mead, in response to the park’s launch. U.S Public Health Service Officer Dr. Maria Said defined in an announcement that the choice took into consideration that “the organism exists naturally and generally within the surroundings however illness is extraordinarily uncommon.”
“However, leisure water customers ought to all the time assume there’s a danger anytime they enter heat contemporary water,” Said suggested.
The park urged individuals to take precautions really helpful by the CDC, which embody avoiding leaping and diving into heat freshwater, holding or clipping their nostril shut when swimming, maintaining their head above water and avoiding submerging their head in sizzling springs.