A 16-month-old boy is believed to have died from an infection caused by the brain-eating amoeba days after playing in a paddling pool in Arkansas, US, where samples reportedly showed the organism in the water. .
It was in early September when the little boy allegedly contracted the Naegleria Fowleri infection, which “destroys brain tissue, causing brain inflammation and, in some cases, death,” in a splash pool at a Country Club in Little Rock, according to a news release from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported by “The Independent” on Monday.
This parasite, better known as a brain-eating amoeba, is an extremely rare single-celled microorganism that enters through the nose and travels to the brain. The infections that develop are often fatal, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Unfortunately, after a few days in the hospital, the 16-month-old boy succumbed to the infection. The samples determined the presence of Naegleria Fowleri in the children’s pool, which has since been closed by the Country Club, as has its pool.
“There is no ongoing risk to the public related to this exposure,” the ADH also clarified, according to British media.
This was the second child exposed to this parasite through a wading pool, while a 3-year-old child reportedly succumbed to similar conditions in Texas in 2021, where the water was not sufficiently recirculated or disinfected.
The organism would also live in soil and in freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds and hot springs, the CDC said on its site, according to “The Independent.”