The CDC has confirmed that an eastern Nebraska child died from a rare infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba after swimming last Sunday in the Elkhorn River near Omaha. The child’s name has not been released.
The CDC confirmation means there have been 2 deaths in the Midwest this summer from primary amebic meningoencephalitis caused by the naegleria fowleri amoeba. The first death was last month, a Missouri man who’d swum in an Iowa lake.
People are usually infected when water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose while swimming in or diving into lakes and rivers, but there are other documented sources, including tainted tap water in a Houston-area city in 2020.
The number of cases has risen steadily since 2000 with researchers believing climate change may be contributing to the increase.