Deadly amoeba thriving in heat and drought conditions

BRYAN COUNTY & GRAYSON COUNTY-- The Oklahoma heat and drought conditions allow for a deadly amoeba to thrive.

State health officials say the mixture creates the ideal conditions for the growth of a tiny, single-cell organism that lives in Oklahoma's rivers, lakes and ponds.

They say the amoeba can cause a disease that is almost always fatal.

The organism is being blamed for the death of a 9-year-old Bryan County boy who contracted the amoeba after swimming in the Red River last month.

"By limiting your chances of ingesting water by using nasal plugs, you really lessen your chances of contracting it. Although, it's really rare," U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger James Vincent said.

Deaths have also been reported in Minnesota and South Carolina this summer.

Symptoms include severe headaches, vomiting and neck stiffness and present themselves a few days after contracting the amoeba.


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