Man dies after being infected by 'brain-eating amoeba' at N.C. water park

By Gary Dinges gdinges@gatehousemedia.com
Posted: Jul. 25, 2019 2:15 pm Updated: Jul. 25, 2019 3:46 pm

A North Carolina man died after he was infected by a "brain-eating amoeba" at a water park, health officials say.

Eddie Gray, a resident of Guilford County, visited Fantasy Lake with a mission group from his church, according to TV station WGHP.

It was at the water park, the state Department of Health and Human Services says, that he came into contact with Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that is naturally present in warm bodies of water during summertime.

>>MORE FROM THE FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: Brain-eating organism kills person after swim at Fantasy Lake Water Park 

The amoeba typically enters through the nose, then travels to the brain, WGHP reported.

Symptoms initially seem minor, such as a headache or nausea, but can progress, leading people who've been infected to have seizures or even fall into a coma.

Gray, who was 59, died two weeks after he was infected.

The Centers for Disease Control says there are about 150 documented deaths related to Naegleria fowleri since 1962. Five of them were in North Carolina.

To avoid coming into contact with the amoeba, health officials say you shouldn't stir up sediment. You should also be careful not to get a large amount of water up your nose, possibly by wearing a nose plug.

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