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Brain-Eating Amoeba Claims Second Swimmer's Life

The amoebas that can cause rare brain infections resemble white blood cells under the microscope.
CDC
The amoebas that can cause rare brain infections resemble white blood cells under the microscope.

Health officials say a child likely died from a rare infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in the Elkhorn River in eastern Nebraska on Sunday. If confirmed, it would be the second death in the Midwest this summer from primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a usually fatal infection caused by the naegleria fowleri amoeba. The Douglas County Department of Health reported the child's death and the probable cause Wednesday. He has been identified as eight-year-old Easton Gray. Researchers believe climate change may be contributing to an increase in infections since 2000. Health officials say a Missouri resident died in July after likely ingesting the amoeba at a southwestern Iowa lake. Health officials in Douglas County are urging residents to be cautious in freshwater with the amoeba likely in the area.