LINCOLN COUNTY, Nev. — A young child has died after fighting a brain-eating amoeba that was likely exposed to at a hot spring in Lincoln County, Nevada, officials say.
In a news release, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health reported that a child died from a Naegleria fowleri infection, more commonly known as a brain-eating amoeba.
Based on the health department’s investigation, it was learned that the child was possibly expsoed at Ash Springs, which is a natural hot spring in Lincoln County that is on federal land.
“Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic single-celled living ameba that occurs naturally in the environment. This amoeba can cause a very serious rare infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) that destroys brain tissue and is almost always fatal,” the health department’s release said, according to CNN.
Naegleria fowleri lives in soil and warm fresh water such as hot springs and lakes, the health department said. Symptoms of the infection include severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and progresses to a stiff neck, seizures, and a coma often that could lead to death.
The CDC recommends a few precautions:
- Avoid jumping in warm fresh water, especially in the summer.
- Hold your nose shut when in warm fresh water either with nose clips or keeping your head above water.
- Avoid putting your head underwater in hot springs.
- Avoid digging or stirring up sediment in warm fresh water.
The child’s mother, Briana Bundy, said her son, Woodrow Turner Bundy, 2, died Wednesday after fighting the infection, according to NBC News. His mother wrote on the Facebook page, Rainbows for Raynie, that he fought for about a week.
“He is my hero and I will forever be grateful to God for giving me the goodest baby boy on earth, and I am grateful to know I will have that boy in heaven someday,” Bundy wrote, according to NBC News.
More information about the Naegleria fowleri can be found on the CDC’s website.