Wake child dies from amoeba-caused illness after swimming in pond – WRAL.com

To honor Aven, his household wishes to raise awareness and advance medical treatments for amoeba-related health problems. They established a non-profit, the Amazing Avens Quest for Amoeba Awareness. As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe raised nearly $67,000.

Raleigh, N.C.– A Wake County child passed away last Friday after developing a disease triggered by an amoeba that is naturally present in freshwater, the state Department of Health and Person Solutions confirmed Tuesday.

Symptoms of Naegleria fowleri infection– an infection of the brain called main amebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM– begin with serious headache, nausea, throwing up and fever and progress to stiff neck, seizures and coma and can lead to death. These uncommon infections usually occur when it is hot for prolonged amount of times, which results in higher water temperature levels and lower water levels, allowing the amoeba to grow.

” Our heart-felt condolences and compassions are with the family and good friends of this kid,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore stated in a declaration. “Although these infections are extremely unusual, this is an important reminder that this amoeba is present in North Carolina and that there are actions people can require to lower their danger of infection when swimming in the summertime.”

The amoeba can cause serious health problem up to nine days after direct exposure. An individual can not be contaminated with Naegleria fowleri by drinking water, and the amoeba is not discovered in salt water or in appropriately maintained and chlorinated pools.

” We are totally broken by the loss of our precious and incredible Aven,” the Moffat household said in a declaration to WRAL.

DHHS officials didnt determine the kid, however WRAL News learned it was 6-year-old Aven Moffat of Wake Forest. He became ill after swimming in a private pond on the familys property in early August, authorities said.

Laboratory testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the kids health problem was triggered by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba frequently found in freshwater. Naegleria fowleri does not trigger illness if swallowed however can be deadly if required up the nose, as can occur during jumping into water, diving, water-skiing or other water activities, officials said.

To prevent an infection, officials recommend the following safety measures:

Naegleria fowleri infections are uncommon, with only 147 known in the U.S. from 1962 through 2019. North Carolina had 6 cases during that time period, consisting of one that killed a Guilford County guy after he swam at a Hope Mills water park.

Limit the quantity of water going up your nose. Hold your nose shut, usage nose clips or keep your head above water when taking part in warm freshwater-related activities.
Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater throughout periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
Avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment while participating in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.

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