A rare swimmer's infection that killed two children in Washington County is suspected in the critical illness of a child who had been swimming in a western Minnesota lake. The child developed a brain infection after swimming at Lake Minnewaska in Pope County. The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating whether the infection is a case of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, the disease that killed two children who swam at Lily Lake in Stillwater in 2010 and 2012. If the disease is confirmed in this case, it will be further evidence that the amoeba that causes it is strengthening its foothold in the Northern states. Before the 2010 Minnesota case, the PAM infection had not been detected north of Missouri, according to the Department of Health.
Symptoms including headache, fever, nausea and stiff neck start within a week, usually at about five days after swimming. The disease progresses rapidly to cause confusion, loss of balance, seizures and, often, death within another week. Seven-year-old Annie Bahneman died of PAM in August 2010 after swimming in Lily Lake. It was an unusually warm summer and officials weren't immediately certain that Bahneman was infected in Lily Lake, so the beach remained open until 2012, when 9-year-old Jack Ariola Erenberg died of the same infection after swimming there...
The amoeba Naegleria fowleri thrives in warm bodies of freshwater and sediment. Infections are most common between July and September, when air and water temperatures have been high for prolonged periods.The amoeba causes a deadly infection only when it enters the body through the nose. From there, the parasite travels through olfactory glands to the brain. It cannot spread from person to person.
The only certain way to escape infection is to avoid swimming and other activities in warm freshwater.
If you swim, avoid getting water up your nose by keeping your head above water, holding your nose shut or wearing nose clips. Also avoid stirring up the sediment.
Courtesy of a friend