Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Arizona Boy
A 14-year-old Lake Havasu boy has become the sixth victim to die nationwide this year of a microscopic organism that attacks the body through the nasal cavity, quickly eating its way to the brain.
Aaron Evans died Sept. 17 of Naegleria fowleri, an organism doctors said he probably picked up a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu.
The amoeba typically live in lake bottoms, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment. People become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose -- say, by doing a cannonball off a cliff -- the amoeba can latch onto the person's olfactory nerve.
Once infected, most people have little chance of survival.
Tags: Parasite | Naegleria Fowleri