A swimmer in Iowa has died after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba, NBC News reported. Here are the other states with reported previous infections of Naegleria fowleri.

Naegleria fowleri: Naegleria fowleri is a brain-eating amoeba that lives in warm freshwater including lakes, rivers, hot springs or poorly chlorinated pools, according to the Deseret News.

  • These amoeba only enter the body through water in the nose and can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis, an extremely rare and dangerous disease.

Which states have the most infections?

A map displaying cases of Naegleria fowleri per state.
Number of Naegleria fowleri infections per state since 1962. | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of these amoeba have been found in coastal and Southern states. Infections have been most prominent in the southwest region of the country, spanning across Texas and into California.
  • Some Midwestern states have seen up to two cases of Naegleria fowleri, including Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Minnesota.
  • The state with the highest number of recorded infections is Texas with 40 since 1962, followed by Florida with 36 and California with 10.
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  • A full list of cases by state can be found on the CDC website.
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Details: Although this amoeba is rare, if contracted it can be dangerous and likely fatal.

  • The Deseret News reports that out of the 154 known cases in the U.S. since 1962, only four people have survived.
  • The CDC states that since 2018 there have been been 11 reported cases of the amoeba.
  • The Iowa Department of Public Health recommends the following precautions against Naegleria fowleri: Hold your nose when entering warm freshwater, avoid freshwater when the water temperature is high, and avoid digging up dirt in warm and shallow freshwater.
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