Man dies after contracting ‘brain-eating amoeba’ at North Carolina water park

A North Carolina man has died from a rare brain-eating amoeba after swimming in a manmade lake at a water park, officials said Wednesday.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources said in a news release that the infection was caused by the amoeba naturally present in warm freshwater during the summer.

WATCH: Dec. 7, 2018 — Woman dies from rare brain-eating disease after using neti pot 

The unnamed person became sick after swimming in Fantasy Lake Water Park in Hope Mills 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 but does not cause illness if swallowed. Symptoms typically begin with severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting and progress to stiff neck, seizures and coma.

The amoeba can cause severe illness up to nine days after exposure.

READ MORE: Man dies from rare ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after visiting Texas surf resort

Health officials say the amoeba is known to have infected just 145 people in the U.S. from 1962 through 2018. Five of those cases occurred in North Carolina.

Attorney Justin Plummer of Greensboro identified the victim as Eddie Gray of Guilford County.

He said in an email that he represents Gray’s wife and estate.

WATCH: June 30, 2016 — CDC confirms deadly brain eating amoeba at water park linked to death of 18-year-old

The amoeba also killed an Ohio college student who went underwater at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte in 2016.

The family of 18-year-old Lauren Seitz of Westerville, Ohio, settled a wrongful-death complaint in April. Seitz died 11 days after being thrown overboard and going underwater at the centre during a 2016 church trip.


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