A 16-month-old boy died tragically after being infected by a brain-eating amoeba he was exposed to while swimming in a pool.
The 16-month-old boy, who was swimming in a water park pool in Arkansas, became infected with Naegleria fowleri, a water-dwelling amoeba that causes inflammation in the brain, destroying it and killing nearly 100% of its victims.
The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed through laboratory tests that the pool where Michael Alexander Pollock III and possibly many other children played, contained traces of the amoeba.
According to the Daily Mail, the little boy is the latest victim of this particular infection of the five that have been reported this year.
Little Michael who died when he was infected by a brain-eating amoeba
Symptoms caused by infection with Naegleria fowleri
Naegleria fowleri is a single-celled microorganism that lives in warm fresh water, such as that which flows from fountains.
Once the parasite enters the nose it travels through the nasal passages to the brain where it feeds on tissue, causing severe neurological damage. The infection is called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
It is not clear how much time elapsed between Michael’s exposure to the amoeba and his death, but usually the infection progresses rapidly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms appear between the first and 12th day after swimming in contaminated water, and death usually follows five days later.
The symptoms at first resemble those of a virus.
The patient presents with headache, nausea, fever and neck stiffness. But they quickly progress to more serious neurological problems, such as seizures, hallucinations, coma and often death.
Of 157 confirmed cases of brain-eating amoeba infection from 1962 to 2022, only four people survived.