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Arkansas reports sixth case of parasitic meningitis in four decades, Willow Springs Water Park the likely source

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have confirmed a rare case of of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a serious disease caused by the ameba, Naegleria fowleri.

Naegleria fowleri Image/CDC

Naegleria fowleri
Image/CDC

According to ADH officials, the most likely source of infection is the Willow Springs Water Park based on their investigation.

The ADH has asked the owner of Willow Springs to voluntarily close the water park to ensure the health and safety of the public.

“We, David and Lou Ann Ratliff, as general management of Willow Springs Water Park, have received new information regarding Naegleria fowleri, and have elected to close the park as of July 25 at the request of the Arkansas Department of Health. Though the odds of contracting Naegleria are extremely low, they are just not good enough to allow our friends or family to swim” said David and Lou Ann Ratliff, owners of Willow Springs.

Although the identity of the patient was not identified by ADH, news reports Wednesday say the victim was a 12-year-old girl who contracted the parasite by swimming.

This case is only the sixth case in Arkansas in 40 years.

Health officials if you swam at Willow Springs Water Park more than eight days ago, you are NOT at risk for the infection as the first symptoms of PAM start one to seven days after initial infection.

“The risk of infection from Naegleria in Arkansas is exceedingly low,” said Dirk Haselow, MD, State Epidemiologist at ADH.

Read more about Naegleria fowleri

 

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Naegleria fowleri survivor, Kali Hardig, walks, swings bat and throws basketball - The Global Dispatch says:

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    […] a follow-up to a recent report, the 12-year-old girl who contacted the greater than 99 percent lethal “brain-eating […]

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