A second death in less than a month has been linked to a brain-eating amoeba commonly transmitted while swimming in a lake.

What Is A Brain-Eating Amoeba?

According to a NBC News report, a Georgia resident died last week after likely being infected with the brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a lake or pond.

The Georgia Department of Public Health said the resident has a Naegleria fowleri infection, "a rare infection which destroys brain tissue, causing brain swelling and usually death."

The department further explained the brain-eating amoeba is typically contracted via water that travels into the nose of a swimmer in a freshwater lake or pond.

If that isn't scary enough, the report also states there is no routine environmental test for the amoeba.

How Common Are Brain-Eating Amoeba Deaths?

Annual deaths linked to the brain-eating amoeba have been fairly low. NBC News reports an average of three deaths a year.

CDC photo
CDC photo

While that doesn't sound like much, the recent batch of deaths related to the amoeba could be cause for concern.

In July, a 2-year-old boy was ruled by the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health to have died from the brain-eating amoeba following a visit to a hot spring.

Another 2023 death attributed to the brain-eating amoeba was Florida man who was infected in February after rinsing his nose with tap water.

How To Prevent Brain-Eating Amoeba From Entering Your Body

The CDC has released tips on how to take precautions against contracting the deadly amoeba through either swimming or using tap water.

For swimming, the CDC recommends:

  • Avoid jumping or diving into bodies of warm, fresh water.
  • Hold your nose shut or keep your head above water
  • Avoid stirring up sediment in shallow, warm fresh water.

For tap water use, the CDC recommends taking precautions when rinsing your sinuses with water through your nose or cleansing your nose during religious practices.

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