An unfortunate incident occurred in Arkansas where a 16-month-old boy lost his life due to an infection caused by the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri. The Arkansas Department of Health released a statement confirming the tragic incident. The boy passed away on September 4 after being hospitalized for a few days.
Investigations suggest that the boy was likely exposed to the amoeba at the splash pad located at the Country Club of Little Rock. As a precautionary measure, the club has voluntarily closed its splash pad and pool during the investigation. The health department assures the public that there is no ongoing risk related to this exposure, as the amoeba does not spread from person to person.
Naegleria fowleri is a dangerous amoeba that destroys brain tissue, leading to swelling in the organ. Unfortunately, the infection is usually fatal, with around three reported cases in the United States each year. The last reported case in Arkansas occurred in 2013.
The amoeba is commonly found in soil, warm freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds, and hot springs. Improperly maintained pools and splash pads can also harbor the amoeba. Early symptoms of the infection include severe headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting, which typically develop within one to twelve days after infection. The symptoms then progress to a stiff neck, seizures, and coma.
It is important for the public to be aware of the potential risks associated with the brain-eating amoeba and take appropriate precautions to prevent exposure. It is advised to follow proper maintenance procedures for pools and splash pads, as well as to avoid warm, stagnant bodies of water where the amoeba may thrive.
– Arkansas Department of Health
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)