A child died after being exposed to a brain-eating amoeba in the Elkhorn River, health officials said. The child was admitted to a hospital within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms and died days later.
Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba that can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a brain infection that is nearly always fatal.
A Missouri resident died in July after contracting Naegleria fowleri at a beach in Iowa, and a child in North Texas died in September after contracting the brain-eating amoeba at a public splash pad.
Health experts say there are precautions people can take when considering swimming in freshwater lakes and rivers to reduce the risk of infection with Naegleria fowleri.
The Nebraska health department warned people to use caution when swimming in warm freshwater during prolonged high temperatures and to avoid diving or jumping into the water, submerging the head underwater or engaging in other water-related activities that cause water to go up the nose forcefully.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Rare brain-eating amoeba suspected of killing child who swam in Elkhorn River KETV Omaha
- Health officials suspect a Nebraska child died from the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri after swimming CNN
- Child dies from suspected case of brain-eating amoeba in Nebraska, the state’s first ABC News
- Brain-eating amoeba suspected of killing child who swam in Elkhorn River KETV NewsWatch 7
- Nebraska Child Dies of Brain-Eating Amoeba After River Swim The Daily Beast