Quantcast

Kansas reports Naegleria fowleri death in Johnson County resident

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been notified of a fatal case of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naegleria fowleri, a free-living amoeba found in freshwater, in a resident of Johnson County. The investigation indicates there were several potential fresh water exposures in Kansas, so the actual source of the infection cannot be determined.

brain-eating amoeba

Naegleri fowleri Image/CDC

Initial laboratory examination has identified the presence of Naegleria fowleri in a specimen from the patient, and additional laboratory testing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pending. This is the second known case of PAM caused by Naegleria fowleri in Kansas. The first case occurred in 2011.

MS News Now reports the identification of the victim as 9-year-old Hally “Bug” Nicole Yust of Spring Hill, Kansas.

Naegleri fowleri can be found in freshwater environments around the world, but infection causing PAM is extremely rare. From 1962 to 2013, there have been 132 cases reported in the United States, with 34 of those cases occurring from 2004 to 2013. Most cases have occurred in southern-tier states.

Related: Naegleria fowleri and amoeba awareness: Personal stories and the great work from ‘Kyle Cares’ and ‘Swim Above Water’

Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba”), is a microscopic amoeba which is a single-celled living organism. It can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals. Infections can happen when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the amoeba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM (which destroys brain tissue) and is usually fatal. Infections usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods of time, which results in higher water temperatures and lower water levels.

Naegleria fowleri infections are rare. Most  infections occur from exposure to contaminated recreational water. Cases due to the use of neti pots and the practice of ablution have been documented. You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water and the amoeba is not found in salt water.

Initial symptoms of PAM usually start within 1 to 7 days after infection. The initial symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting. Other symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly.  For more infectious disease news and informationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Related story: Neti pots, Naegleria and you

“We are very saddened to learn of this unfortunate circumstance, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time,” said Robert Moser, MD, KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer, “It is important for the public to know that infections like these are extremely rare and there are precautions one can take to lower their risk – such as nose plugs.”

Though the risk of infection is extremely low, the following precautions might decrease the possibility of infection:

  • Hold your nose shut, use nose clips, or keep your head above water when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.
  • Avoid putting your head under the water in hot springs and other untreated thermal waters.
  • Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature.
  • Avoid digging in, or stirring up, the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.

There is no known way to control the occurrence of Naeglaria fowleri in freshwater lakes and rivers.

Related: ‘Monsters Inside Me’ to feature the Kyle Lewis story

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

Tags
Displaying 4 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Naegleria fowleri: An interview with Dr Jennifer Cope - Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Kansas reports Naegleria fowleri death in Johnson County resident […]

  2. Florida boy the victim of deadly amoeba contracted in Costa Rica | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] occurred around the same time that  9-year-old Hally “Bug” Nicole Yust of Spring Hill, Kansas contracted the deadly […]

  3. Pakistani infant the latest ‘brain-eating amoeba’ death, contracted while getting a bath | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Related story: Kansas reports Naegleria fowleri death in Johnson County resident […]

  4. Kansas measles cases rise to 11 after two new cases are reported in Sedgwick County - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Related story: Kansas reports Naegleria fowleri death in Johnson County resident […]

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Recent Posts

June 22, 2019, Comments Off on

Categories

Archives