COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Health officials say a
Sumter County boy has died from a rare brain infection caused by an
organism that lives in warm, fresh water.
The Department of Health
and Environmental Control said Wednesday the boy was killed by an amoeba
known as Naegleria fowleri (neh-GLARE-ee-ah FOW-luhr-eye). The organism
lives in lakes, rivers and hot springs.
The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention says that there were only 32 documented cases of
this kind of infection between 2001 and 2010. DHEC did not release the
An agency epidemiologist
says the amoeba typically enters the body through water forced up
someone's nose. Officials say the infection cannot be caused by
DHEC advises people not to swim in fresh water when water levels are low.