Southern Iowa beach closed after infection of 'brain-eating amoeba' Naegleria fowleri confirmed

cigaretteman

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A Missouri resident has been infected by a microscopic organism that causes a rare, life-threatening brain infection after swimming at Lake of Three Fires State Park in southwest Iowa.


The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services has closed the Taylor County lake to swimming as officials test for Naegleria fowleri, a single-cell free-living ameba-like organism can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis.


The brain infection is rare — only 154 cases in the United States since 1962 — but it’s nearly always fatal.


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Naegleria fowleri can be present in warm, freshwater lakes and ponds. Infection occurs when water is forced up a swimmer’s nose and the organism travels up the nose to the brain, where it destroys brain tissue, the Health Department reported.


The infection can’t be spread from one person to another and can’t be contracted by swallowing contaminated water.


The Health Department is working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to run tests at the Lake of Three Fires. Testing could take several days. The agencies will work to provide more updates as they are available.


While the brain infection is extremely rare, people who experience the following symptoms after swimming in any warm body of water should contact their doctor immediately:


  • Severe headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stiff neck
  • Seizures
  • Altered mental status
  • Hallucinations.

For more information about Naegleria fowleri, visit the CDC website.


Lake of Three Fires, about 25 miles east of Clarinda, is an 85-acre lake popular with boaters and anglers, the DNR reports online. The state park was dedicated in 1935 and is named after a group of Native Americans from the Potawatomi tribe, known as the “Fire Nation,” who once inhabited the area.






The lake has frequently been closed to swimming in past summers because of harmful algae that create toxic microcystins that can sicken swimmers.

 

HawkeyeGenius

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20 years ago this would not have been a concern in Iowa waters. Climate change has enabled these organisms to for further north now.
 
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hawkifann

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You can identify and sequence organisms quite easily these days.

You don't want this. There is no cure or any real treatment.
This was found a few years ago at the US National Whitewater Center near Charlotte. It shut down their whitewater operations for almost a year while they re-designed their water filtration. They had been doing basic treatment of water from the Catawba River, but rebuilt a system that did much more treatment of the water.

It’s rare, but it is basically always fatal. One key point is that there needs to be some force up into the nose - something like a jump from height or water from rapids shooting right up the nose. Just swimming in it isn’t much of a risk IIRC.
 

HawkeyeGenius

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This was found a few years ago at the US National Whitewater Center near Charlotte. It shut down their whitewater operations for almost a year while they re-designed their water filtration. They had been doing basic treatment of water from the Catawba River, but rebuilt a system that did much more treatment of the water.

It’s rare, but it is basically always fatal. One key point is that there needs to be some force up into the nose - something like a jump from height or water from rapids shooting right up the nose. Just swimming in it isn’t much of a risk IIRC.
Not exactly the case. Been too many cases in young children who were just swimming in a lake or river. A few were playing in a local splash pad. So up the nose is correct not forced as much as you said.
 

hawkifann

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Not exactly the case. Been too many cases in young children who were just swimming in a lake or river. A few were playing in a local splash pad. So up the nose is correct not forced as much as you said.
That may be true, that’s just what I heard when Charlotte was very focused on it. The premise was that it’s very common in warm natural waterways, but still rare for infections.
 

NorthernHawkeye

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Dec 23, 2007
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You forgot your question mark, but I see where you could think your statement was a comment vs question.

You just watched KCCI?

You really are stupid.

Last night I was watching KCCI and a minute later HawkeyeGenius makes a post about something that was just on KCCI.

It's amazing how basic stuff like this is complicated for you.
 

fredjr82

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You really are stupid.

Last night I was watching KCCI and a minute later HawkeyeGenius makes a post about something that was just on KCCI.

It's amazing how basic stuff like this is complicated for you.

You assume he was watching it. Your statement was really a question and you forgot the punctuation mark, no matter how much you think your opinion is close to fact.
 

HROT

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Nov 5, 2006
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Likely Northern Missouri resident
Swims in Southern Iowa for leisure
Dies of brain eating amoeba


Quite the crappy deck of cards
 
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lucas80

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This is one reason why the GOP is so laser focused on social warfare issues. They can't defend decades of mismanagement of Iowa's natural resources, so they need distractions.
Iowa waters have killed more people than CRT or LGBTQ books have this year.
 

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