A 16-year-old girl who doctors suspect may have been infected by a dangerous amoeba while swimming in Brevard County has died, according to a family spokesman.
Courtney Nash became ill after swimming with her family in the St. Johns River. 16-year-old Courtney Nash from Mims has died from her suspected amoeba infection. The Brevard County Health Department has been notified of a probable case of Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM). The health department is waiting on confirmation of the case from the Center for Disease Control.
Symptoms of an infection include headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance and bodily control, seizures and hallucinations. For more information visit the CDC Healthy Swimming website at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming/.
CDC and the Brevard County Health Department recommends the following:
1. Don’t swim or jump into warm, stagnant, fresh water, such as ponds or warm water discharge pools, or unchlorinated swimming pools;
2. Don’t swim in polluted water;
3. Don’t swim in areas posted as “No Swimming;” and
A Brevard County teenager was swimming in a St. Johns River tributary in southern Volusia County when she was infected with a life-threatening amoeba, according to the Brevard County Health Department.
The Health Department is waiting on confirmation of the case from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When water temperatures hit 80 degrees, the amoeba come out to freely circulate in the water.
In rare cases of infection, the amoeba goes up a swimmer's nose undetected to attack the brain.
Mostly, though, swimmers should avoid fresh water ponds and lakes, or use nose plugs when swimming.