The third death this summer linked to a deadly, brain-eating amoeba has killed a man in Louisiana.
The brain infecting parasite known as meningoencephalitis is usually found in pools of stagnant freshwater, where the bug is said to thrive.
Mail Online reports the young man's death in June has been traced to tap water. He was using a neti pot, a small container used to rinse out the sinuses with salt water to relieve allergies, colds and sinus problems. Health officials said the amoeba was found in the home's water system. The parasite had been confined to the man’s home system and was not found in city water samples. The young man had not been swimming before being stricken.
NewJerseyNewsroom.com reported that Christian Alexander Strickland died Aug. 5 from the disease after going to a fishing camp, and 16-year-old Courtney Nash died Saturday from the amoeba after swimming in a river.
The New York Daily News reports that only about 120 cases of meningoencephalitis have been reported since the early 1960s, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“There is no known treatment for people who develop a brain infection with this amoeba,” Dr. Roy Gulick, chief of infectious disease at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center told MSNBC.
The infection is usually treated with anti-fungal medications and antibiotics, and just one person has reportedly survived it since the 1970s. The parasite usually comes into the body through the nose and hits the brain and spinal cord.
Gulick said two cases of the disease might bring fears of an outbreak, but there’s no evidence suggesting this is anything more than coincidence.