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Watch Out! Brain-Eating Amoeba That Killed 11-Year-Old Girl Found Lurking in U.S. National Park

Aug 09, 2016 04:20 AM EDT

A brain-eating amoeba that has killed an 11-year-old girl on Friday was detected in the Grand Teton National Park.

According to reports, the parasitic amoeba is called the Naegleria fowleri.

Grand Teton officials had no idea how the amoeba reached the area. A report by Associated Press said officials have already warned the public to avoid dipping in the Kelly Warm Spring, a popular soaking pool in the Grand Teton Park.

Grand Teton spokeswoman Denise Germann says if possible people should avoid getting the water from the pool up the nose.

Aside from Grand Teton, the report added the amoeba was also found in two hot springs in the nearby John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states the Naegleria fowleri can cause rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) when it enters the body through the nose.

Ninety-seven percent of people who contract the disease don't survive. Since 1962, 133 people in the U.S. have been infected with the disease and only three have survived.

The amoeba, which thrives in warm, fresh water, is typically detected in the Southern U.S, the place where Hannah Collins contracted it. Yahoo News reports Hannah went swimming in Edisto River in Charleston County on July 24.

Hannah jumped in the river using a rope, which most likely provided a mechanism for the amoeba to enter her nose.

In an interview with WCSC, Hannah's father who was temporarily released from the bars by the family court judge to help with her daughter's funeral said he was devastated to hear the news.

After more than a week, health authorities confirmed she has Naegleria fowleri infection. She died three days after the diagnosis.

In August 2015, a 14-year-old athlete died from contracting the same disease. Michael John Riley Jr. was preparing for a competition when he came across the amoeba in at Sam Houston State Park.

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