Swimmer dies from rare brain-eating parasite after being infected at water park

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A man has died from a brain-eating parasite which he contracted at a popular water park.

Tragic Eddie Gray, 59, was enjoying a day out with friends at Fantasy Lake Water Park in North Carolina, in the US, when he was infected.

He died on Monday, more than a week after coming into contact with the bacteria on July 12.

He died as a result of brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which enters the body through the nose before travelling into the brain.

There are just 145 known cases of the parasite infecting Americans since 1962, according to Fox 46.

It happened at Fantasy Lake Water Park in North Carolina

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The case has prompted a warning that the organism can be found in freshwater.

In a statement issued through their attorney, Mr Gray’s family said: “Mr. Gray’s death was tragic and untimely.

“The family is currently asking for privacy and respect during this difficult time.

“Otherwise, at this time, the family has no comment.”

Duane Holder, interim director of the Cumberland County Health Department, told WRAL: “Swimming in and of itself is not so much of concern.

“Now, diving, jumping in from heights and maybe some of the forceful activity of submerging, those are situations I would make sure I had nose clips, nose plugs, or I’d pinch my nose if I knew I was going to be forcibly entering the water.”

State Epidemiologist Zack Moore said: Our sympathies are with the family and loved ones.

“People should be aware that this organism is present in warm freshwater lakes, rivers and hot springs across North Carolina, so be mindful as you swim or enjoy water sports.”

The amoeba is not harmful if swallowed, according to scientists.



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