Infection caused by water-borne amoeba reported

State health officials say a Virginian has been diagnosed with a rare infection associated with a type of amoeba that lives in stagnant water.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that it’s sometimes called “brain-eating amoeba” because it travels up the nose and destroys brain tissue, almost always causing meningitis.

In a health advisory issued Saturday, state health officials said the amoeba proliferates in stagnant freshwater lakes, ponds, streams and rivers when temperatures climb into the 80s. They say people should take safety precautions when swimming, including showering with soap before and after and being careful not to swallow pool, lake or river water.

Officials say on 32 such infections were reported in the U.S. from 2001 to 2010, and the most recent previous case in Virginia was in 1969.

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