Oklahoma Resident Killed By Lake Borne Amoeba
An Oklahoma resident was killed after being infected by a brain-eating amoeba, it was disclosed by the State Department of Health on Wednesday.
In a news release, the Oklahoma State Department of Health said a Carter County adult has died due to Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) after recently swimming in Lake Murray. PAM is an extremely rare and usually deadly disease caused by infection with a single-celled organism (ameba), Naegleria fowleri.
Health officials added that disease-causing organisms are naturally present in most lakes, ponds, and rivers but multiply rapidly in very warm and stagnant water. "Persons may be exposed to Naegleria fowleri ameba when they dive or submerge their head in contaminated water. The ameba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue."
Naegleria Fowleri is known as the dreaded brain-eating amoeba because of its ability to cause a deadly brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). It is commonly found in warm bodies of freshwater like lakes and rivers, wherein the amoeba can easily infect an individual by accidental ingestion of contaminated water through the mouth or nostrils. PAM is a rare condition, which is causing the Oklahoma State Department of Health concern regarding a possible outbreak, after increasing reports of cases in the country this year alone.