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Man dies from brain-eating amoeba in Oklahoma

Man dies from brain-eating amoeba in Oklahoma contracted from swimming in a local Lake.

The man contracted a rare infection called Naegleriasis, the Oklahoma State Department of health said Wednesday.

Naegleriasis is also known as Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM), amebic encephalitis, and naegleria infection, an infection of the brain by a protist Naegleria fowleri amoeba, also known as the “brain-eating amoeba,” sources said.

The man, whose name has not been released, reportedly caught the waterborne disease while swimming in Lake Murray, about 115 miles south of Oklahoma City last week. He died on Wednesday in a Hospital in Oklahoma City, officials said.

The brain-eating amoeba is naturally present in freshwater like lakes, rivers and hot springs and rapidly multiplies in very warm, stagnant water. It usually infects a person when the contaminated water enters the body through the nose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The brain tissue is destroyed causing brain swelling and death.

“If you’re diving or playing or swimming and you accidentally inhale water into your nose, and the amoeba gets into your nose, it travels up into the brain and causes encephalitis,” Laurence Burnsed, an epidemiologist in Oklahoma State Department of Health, told media.

Last month, a woman in California of the same disease, according to reports. Symptoms of the disease includes headache, fever, chills, stiff neck, vomiting, seizures and hallucinations.

PAM is mostly encountered in the southern parts of United States during the summer, when temperatures are highest, CDC said.

Since 1952, there have been about 133 reported cases of PAM in the United States, only three people survived the rare disease, according to the CDC. 

However, the disease is said to be non transmittable from person to person, according to reports. IMAGE/Dr. George R. Healy, CDC