On Thursday, officials at the Florida Department of Health confirmed a case of a brain-eating amoeba (scientific name Naegleria fowleri) in a Florida swimmer. The brain infection that the amoeba causes is usually fatal, but there’s a good reason why you shouldn’t panic.
Health officials are inspecting the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, after 18-year-old Lauren Seitz died Sunday from a fatal infection likely caused by a rare brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, which they believe she contracted when rafting there during a church trip. And although infection is rare, statistics about the amoeba are calling into questions the safety of river water. Seitz’s exposure may have happened in just a split second.