Missouri swimmer likely infected with amoeba in Iowa dies

Iowa Lake
Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 16, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri resident who was infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba that likely happened after swimming in a southeastern Iowa lake has died, health officials said Friday.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said the patient died due to primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a rare and usually fatal infection caused by the naegleria fowleri ameba.

Health officials said they believe the parasite was contracted at Lake of Three Fires near Bedford, Iowa, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Kansas City. The name and age of the patient will not be released, officials said.

Iowa officials closed the Lake of Three Fires State Park near Taylor County as a precaution on July 7. The beach remains closed.

People are infected when water containing the ameba enters the body through the nose, usually while victims are swimming or diving in lakes and rivers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say. The fatality rate is more than 97%, according to CDC statistics.

The infections have primarily occurred in southern-tier states. It is the first case discovered in Iowa since infections were first confirmed in 1962 and possibly ever, the CDC said.

Among bordering states, Minnesota has had two cases and Missouri one, with none reported in Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Kansas has confirmed one case.

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