Missouri Resident Infected By Brain-Eating Amoeba At Iowa Lake Dies

Photo: Wired.com

(Taylor County, IA) -- The Missouri person infected by a suspected brain-eating amoeba at the Lake of Three Fires in Taylor County has died.

Missouri health officials say because cases like this are so rare, no additional information about the patient who died will be released--including their identity.

The beach at the Lake of Three Fires remains closed as the state of Iowa awaits official test results to confirm the presence of the amoeba.

The amoeba is known as Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as “brain-eating amoeba”. It's a microscopic single-celled free-living amoeba that can cause a rare life-threatening infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

Of the 154 known cases of PAM in the United States over the past 60 years, only four have survived.

People become infected by Naegleria fowleri when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose from freshwater sources.

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue. This infection cannot be spread from one person to another, and it cannot be contracted by swallowing contaminated water.

It's the first reported case of this rare and deadly brain infection in Iowa.

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