A man has died after being infected by a rare brain-eating amoeba while swimming at a manmade family water park.
Laboratory testing confirmed the man, identified by local media as Eddie Gray, was sickened by Naegleria fowleri after swimming at Fantasy Lake Water Park in Cumberland County.
The North Carolina Department of Health has stated infections like Gray’s are rare but typically occur when it’s hot for prolonged periods of time, according to the press release.
Symptoms of Naegleria fowleri include severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting which then progresses into a stiff neck, seizures and coma.
Officials say that people should use caution when using areas where the infection is more common. Always plug your nose, use a nose clip and avoid kicking up sediment in shallow areas.
Though frightening and possibly fatal, infections are rare with only 145 known infected individuals in the U.S. from 1962 through 2018.
According to state health officials in North Carolina, the amoeba is harmless when swallowed but swimmers should always take precaution to prevent water from going up their nose.
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