Missouri Swimmer Ends Up With Brain-Eating Amoeba from Iowa Lake
There are enough dangers when swimming that you can see and hopefully avoid. However, there's one danger that's rare but real and it happened to a Missouri swimmer who was infected with a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in a lake in Iowa.
UPDATE: Yahoo News now reporting that the Missourian who was hospitalized has now died.
ORIGINAL STORY: CBS News reported that a Missourian is now in intensive care with a rare brain-eating amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri amoeba. It is sadly usually a fatal infection that kills 97% of those who encounter it.
The Missouri resident who has not been named was swimming at Lake of Three Fires State Park in Taylor County. According to the Iowa Department of Health, that lake has been temporarily closed due to this incident.
How can you avoid this deadly parasite? The CDC says the brain-eating amoeba enters the body through the nose. They say it thrives in "warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers". To avoid it, the CDC says you "should focus on limiting the amount of water going up the nose and lowering the chances that Naegleria fowleri may be in the water."
The good news is this brain-eating amoeba is rarely encountered, but it is a killer to be aware of. General rule of thumb is know the status of the body of water you're swimming in and do your best to not allow water in your nose. Yes, it's swimming so that's easier said than done. Hopefully, the Missourian currently hospitalized recovers from this horrific bug.