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Entries in Naegleria (1)

Sunday
Sep112011

Brain-Eating Amoeba Claims Fourth Victim

File photo. MEHAU KULYK/Getty Images(WINFIELD, Kan.) -- A Kansas resident died last week from what was likely a rare infection by a brain-eating amoeba, after swimming in a lake in August, state health officials said.  It is the fourth death this summer linked to the parasite, which is found in stagnant warm water.

The person, who hasn't been named, likely picked up the infection while swimming in Winfield City Lake in Cowley County, ABC News affiliate KAKE-TV in Wichita reported.

The Sedgwick County resident entered the hospital on Aug. 19 with headaches and developed breathing problems, and died five days later, according to the Kansas City Star.

Notices have been posted at the Winfield lake office and the swimming area, Winfield City Manager Warren Porter told the Star.  Residents have been warned not to swim in bodies of water that have been heated by a nuclear power plant, or dig up sediment in such places, according to the newspaper.

The brain-eating amoeba, also known as the parasite Naegleria, enters through the nose, travels through the sinuses and infects the brain and cerebrospinal fluid.

Though this parasite is very rare, it tends to grow in stagnant, fresh water during high summer temperatures, Barry Inman, an epidemiologist at the Brevard County, Florida Health Department, told ABC News.

The Kansas victim is the first person to have died from a brain-eating amoeba infection in Kansas.  Earlier last month, two children in Virginia and Florida died from the deadly parasite.  Another death was reported in Louisiana.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio