Teen Dies Rare Infection After Swim

August 17, 2011 by staff 

Teen Dies Rare Infection After SwimTeen Dies Rare Infection After Swim, Amoeba is being blamed for brain infection that killed a teenager from Florida. Courtney Nash, 16, fell ill and died of the rare disease after swimming in a river that was home to infectious microbes, the CDC said Monday. Girl’s family says she died Saturday afternoon.

Authorities say the girl had been swimming last week in a small tributary of the St. Johns River in Volusia County Florida. She was hospitalized with what officials of Brevard County Health identified as amoebic infection.

The amoeba – it can attack the brain after entering through the nose of the swimmer – are most commonly found in the bottom mud of lakes and ponds. Also found in rivers, although less frequently.

Symptoms of infection – which doctors call amoebic meningoencephalitis – are headaches, vomiting and neck stiffness, according to the website of the Department of Environmental Quality Oklahoma. The website says that swimming in stagnant water, especially water that feels cold to enter. Furthermore, it is best to avoid swimming under water, except swimming pools and keep your nose or use nose plugs when diving in water, except swimming pools.

Amoebic meningoencephalitis is rare, with fewer than 100 cases reported in the U.S. since 1975, according to the website. But it is often fatal.

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