Georgia resident dies from a rare brain infection

Atlanta: A Georgia resident has died from a rare brain infection, commonly known as the “brain-eating amoeba,” state health officials said.

The victim was infected with Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that destroys brain tissue, causes brain swelling and usually death, the Georgia Department of Health confirmed in a news release.

This is the sixth case of the infection in Georgia since 1962.

Officials said the victim likely was infected while swimming in a freshwater lake or pond but did not say where. People can become infected when water containing the amoeba goes up a person’s nose. It can not infect people if swallowed and is not spread from person to person.

“The amoeba is naturally occurring, and there is no routine environmental test for Naegleria fowleri in bodies of water; and because it is very common in the environment, levels of the amoebas that naturally occur cannot be controlled,” health officials said. “The location and number of amoebas in the water can vary over time within the same body of water.”

Image courtesy of CTFP

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