Nebraska: Child dies of infection linked to brain-eating amoeba

Nebraska: Child dies of infection linked to brain-eating amoeba

A child died this week in Nebraska from an infection related to a brain-eating amoeba (Naegleria fowleri).

Authorities say the child, whose name and age are unknown, became infected after swimming in the Elkhorn River near Omaha

It would be the first such death in Nebraska, according to USA Today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they had launched an investigation into this rare infection.

“We cannot imagine the pain of this child’s family. To honor it, we will do everything we can to prevent risks from these microorganisms,” said Dr. Lindsay Huse from the State Department of Health.

This genus of amoeba is found in lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout the United States, particularly in the southern states.

Infections are most common in late summer when the water is warmer.

According to the CDC, amoebas enter through the nose and travel to the brain, causing amoebic meningoencephalitis.

These extremely rare infections are usually fatal

Between 1962 and 2021, 154 people became infected with these microorganisms. Only four survived.