High levels of brain eating amoeba found at water park in North Carolina

(CNN)Levels of the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri that killed an Ohio teen were unusually high in water samples taken from the U.S. National Whitewater Center, and were likely caused by the failure of the water sanitation system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week.

All 11 samples from the white water area of the park tested positive for the potentially fatal organism, the CDC said. Other samples from the nearby Catawba River were negative, although the amoeba was found in one sample of riverbank sentiment.
“Our findings here are significant,” said Dr. Jennifer Cope, an infectious disease physician at the CDC. “We saw multiple positive samples at levels we’ve not previously seen in environmental samples.”
The amoeba were likely able to grow to such concentrations because of the amount of dirt and debris in the water, which turned the water “turbid” or murky, and interfered with the effectiveness of the sanitation process, Cope said.

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