(NBC) – North Carolina health officials say a person has died from a rare brain-eating amoeba after swimming in a manmade lake at a water park.
The state Department of Health and Human Resources said in a news release Wednesday that the infection was caused by the amoeba naturally present in warm freshwater during the summer. The unnamed person became sick after swimming in Fantasy Lake Water Park in Cumberland County on July 12.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it was caused by Naegleria fowleri, a single-celled organism known as the brain-eating amoeba. It can be fatal if forced up the nose. Symptoms start with a severe headache and can progress to coma.
Health officials say the amoeba is known to have infected just 145 people in the U.S. from 1962 through 2018.