July 16, 2024

A younger baby in Arkansas has died after being contaminated with a uncommon brain-eating amoeba that well being officers consider was seemingly contracted from a splash pad at a rustic membership.

Michael Alexander Pollock III, who was simply 16 months outdated, handed away on Sept. 4 whereas his dad and mom had been out of state, Arkansas On-line reported. Within the younger kid’s obituary, his dad and mom wrote that Michael “touched the hearts of household, buddies, and strangers” together with his “illuminating smile and playfulness.”

The Arkansas Division of Well being introduced the loss of life was brought on by a Naegleria fowleri, a uncommon single-celled organism that is usually present in heat freshwater environments, akin to lakes, rivers, ponds and sizzling springs. Nevertheless, it may also be present in swimming pools and splash pads that aren’t correctly maintained or cleaned.

“The CDC has reported one splash pad pattern as confirmed to have viable Naegleria fowleri. The remaining samples are nonetheless pending,” the Arkansas Division of Well being mentioned in a press launch. “The division has been involved with the Nation Membership of Little Rock, they usually have been cooperative in inquiries with the ADH.”

Naegleria fowleri usually infects folks when water containing the amoeba enters the physique by way of the nostril, in line with the CDC. This may happen when individuals are swimming, diving, or placing their heads below water. 

The Arkansas Division of Well being mentioned there isn’t a ongoing danger to the general public, however the nation membership has voluntarily closed its pool and splash pad areas. The final case of this brain-eating amoeba in Arkansas was again in 2013. 

Whereas circumstances like this are extraordinarily uncommon, a Nevada baby additionally died earlier this yr after contracting the brain-eating amoeba throughout a go to to Ash Springs, which is situated about 100 miles north of Las Vegas. The CDC experiences that there have solely been about 160 documented circumstances of the an infection within the U.S. since 1962, however the circumstances are virtually all the time deadly — with solely 4 contaminated folks recognized to have survived.

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