A rare brain-eating amoeba that has killed thousands of people worldwide has been found in an adult male patient’s system in California, health officials said on Friday.
Previously, the water system tested in June and July had been clear of Naegleria fowleri, the hospital told Fox21News in San Diego.
The patient, who was treated for two weeks, has recovered, the hospital told the station.
The symptoms are usually mild and go away on their own but, in about 5 percent of cases, the infection spreads to the brain, where it can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a lethal infection.
Health officials say it’s only the 1st confirmed case of Naegleria fowleri infection in the United States.
Other states have reported positive samples from water systems: North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Ohio and California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All involve water intake that is more than 50 feet deep.
So far, most cases have happened in Southeast Asia and Africa.
The CDC said about 20 people died in the United States last year.