An amoeba kills a swimmer in Oklahoma after he went for a dip in the water. ABC News reports that incident happened about 110 miles south of Oklahoma City. Tony Sellars, spokesman of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, confirmed the unidentified victim’s death on Wednesday. The individual was a young adult from Carter County.
WTVY 4 reports that a swimmer who was in an Oklahoma lake died due to contracting Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) after swimming in Lake Murray. The swimmer that died from the amoeba went swimming early last week, and and was admitted to the hospital for treatment.
According to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, the person was camping at the Ski Jump campground. The victim died at the Oklahoma City Hospital on Wednesday, KFOR 4 reports.
PAM is said to be and extremely rare — and typically deadly — disease that results from infection with a single-celled organism (amoeba), Naegleria fowleri.
Naegleria fowleri is commonly dubbed the “brain-eating amoeba.”
As the Inquistr recently reported, this type of amoeba is present in most lakes, ponds, and rivers. It tends to thrive in “very warm and stagnant water.” This type of environment usually causes the organisms to multiply. Persons exposed to Naegleria fowleri are affected when they submerge their head in contaminated waters. At this point, the organism travels up the nose and to the brain — it then destroys the brain tissue.
As news of the amoeba that killed the swimmer emerges, the CDC breaks down the disease’s statistics.
“There have been 35 reported infections in the U.S. in the 10 years from 2005 to 2014, despite hundreds of millions of recreational water exposures each year. By comparison, in the ten years from 2001 to 2010, there were more than 34,000 drowning deaths in the United States.”
Since 1962, 133 cases of PAM have infected victims, with only three surviving.
There have been seven incidences of PAM affecting Oklahomans since 1998.
PAM cannot be spread person-to-person, according to the report. Signs and symptoms include headache, nausea, and vomiting. Seizures, hallucinations, stiff neck, and coma are more serious symptoms to follow.
For these reasons, its best not to dive, swim, or jump in lakes and ponds that tend to be shallow, near shore, and warm. Any water that has sheets of algae or has a cloudy and green color to it are signs that the waters could be contaminated with PAM.
Signs posted in areas that read, “No Swimming,” should be taken seriously.
The swimmer that was killed in by the amoeba in Oklahoma was swimming in a 5,700-acre lake in the south central part of the state, according to Fox News.
[Photo Credit: CDC]