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Published on : Tuesday, June 28, 2016
The 18-year-old girl, Lauren Seitz was visiting the US National Whitewater Center (USNWC) with a church group. In the Charlotte-area center, she became a victim of a rare brain infection caused by amoeba ‘naegleria fowleri’.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tested and confirmed the presence of the amoeba in the waterpark’s whitewater system.
The CDC stressed that the specific infection is very rare and the area was not experiencing any outbreak.
CDC officials were investigating the case in cooperation with National whitewater Center.
Authorities guessed that the girl was exposed to the amoeba when the raft overturned.
The specific amoeba thrives in warm weather and it can kill people within five days, if it enters through the nose. But the amoeba cannot infect people if it is swallowed.
The amoeba can also be found in wet soils and sediments. For that reason, tourists are asked to avoid digging inside the affected area of the park.
Activities unrelated to rafting inside the park are still open for tourists.