3 Deaths Reported From Water Amoeba This Summer

Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011 --- 8:50 a.m.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Health officials say two children and a young adult have died this summer from a microscopic amoeba that lives in water.

Most cases of the rare infection are caught while swimming in lakes or ponds. But Louisiana officials linked the June death of a young man to the tap water he used to flush out his sinuses.

This month, a 16-year-old Florida teen fell ill after swimming and a 9-year-old Virginia boy died a week after he went to a fishing day camp.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about 120 U.S. cases have been reported since the amoeba was identified in the early 1960s. About three deaths are reported each year, on average. The amoeba goes up the nose and burrows up into the skull.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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