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Brain-eating amoeba suspected in death of Nebraska child, officials say



  • A Nebraska child died this week of suspected Naegleria fowleri infection.
  • Commonly referred to as brain-eating amoebas, Naegleria fowleri infections are “extremely rare, but almost always fatal,” notes the Nebraska Department of Health.
  • Naegleria fowleri causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection.

A child in Nebraska has died of a suspected infection with Naegleria fowleri, or brain-eating amoeba, local health officials said.

The child was most likely infected while swimming in the Elkhorn River near Omaha, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, the case would be the first known death from a brain-eating amoeba in state history.

The Douglas County Health Department said Wednesday that the child died this week and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is performing additional tests to confirm the rare infection.

“We can only imagine the devastation this family must feel, and our deepest condolences are with them,” Douglas County Chief Health Officer Dr. Lindsay Huse said in a statement. statement wednesday. “We can honor the memory of this child by learning about the risk and then taking action to prevent infection.”


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