Several deaths in the southern U.S. point to a "brain-eating amoeba" that thrives in stagnant, warm water.
Nine year-old Christian Alexander Strickland of Henrico County, VA died on Aug 5. Autopsy results Friday confirming the cause of death as inflammation of the brain and its lining from the microscopic bug, the AP reported.
Virginia state health officials issued an advisory Saturday, saying the amoeba proliferates in stagnant freshwater lakes and ponds during hot weather. The victim’s mother said the boy had attended a fishing day camp at several locations the week before he died.
Courtney Nash, 16, a Florida teen who died Saturday after swimming was also infected with a deadly amoeba that becomes more of a danger as waters grow warmer, the Dayton Beach News Journal confirmed.
Medical literature shows that only a handful of people have survived infection of the Naegleria fowleri, which killed three children from Florida in 2007.
The CDC estimates that 32 cases occurred in the United States between 2001 and 2010 -- all but two of them the result of swimming. Most of the time, the amoeba starts destroying the brain a few days after freshwater has gone up a swimmer's nose.