New York: A man in North Carolina died on Monday after he went swimming in a lake and was infected by Naegleria fowleri, a single-celled organism known as the “brain-eating amoeba.”
The man, Eddie Gray, 59, fell ill after he visited the Fantasy Lake Water Park in Cumberland County July 12, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Thursday.
Naegleria fowleri infections are rare, but deadly. There were 145 known infected people in the United States from 1962 through 2018, and all but four cases were fatal.
The amoeba is typically found in warm freshwater, and the majority of cases in the United States have occurred in Florida and Texas.
“Mr. Gray’s death was tragic and untimely,” Justin Plummer, a lawyer representing his estate, said in a statement. “The family is currently asking for privacy and respect during this difficult time.”
According to his obituary, Gray was an active member of the Sedge Garden United Methodist Church who enjoyed kayaking, camping, hunting, fishing and NASCAR.