A brain-eating amoeba ended up killing a 4-year-old from Mississippi that had visited a home in Louisiana, according to a Sept. 7 CNN report. Officials believe the boy contracted the Naegleria fowleri amoeba on a plastic water toy in the St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana.
Because of the rare brain-eating amoeba incident, the St. Bernard Parish is treating its water out of an "abundance of caution" just to make sure that if the amoeba is living in any of the water, it will be treated. Assistant Secretary for Public Health J.T. Lane said,
"We are working with the parish to make sure precautionary measures are being taken while we await additional test results on samples taken from the area's water system."
This is the second brain-eating amoeba death in the past two weeks, which is incredibly scary. A 12-year-old in Florida also died after being infected with the parasite. In July, a 12-year-old in Arkansas actually survived a brain-eating amoeba infection.
Although there have been so many incidents of the brain-eating amoeba infection this year, between 2001 and 2010 there were only 32 reported cases. Most cases are in Southwestern states. Hot springs and warm freshwater is where the Naegleria fowleri is found.
Symptoms of infection with the brain-eating amoeba happen about seven days after the initial exposure. The symptoms are headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck. This is one of the worst infections, and 99 percent of people infected end up dying from the infection. Death occurs within about one to 12 days after the onset of symptoms.