Omaha boy dies from suspected brain-eating amoeba

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‘Incredibly tragic’: Boy dies of suspected brain-eating amoeba in Douglas County

Health officials say the child became infected after swimming in the Elkhorn River.



STARTS WITH BREAKING NEWS. ROB: WE’RE STARTING TONIGHT WITH A TERRIBLE LOSS. WE LEARNED THAT THIS IS THE BOY WHO AIMS A PURPOSE BRAIN EATING AMOEBA. GOOD EVENING. I’M ROB MCCARTNEY. JULIE: I’M JULIE CORNELL. EASTON GRAY WAS ONLY 8 YEARS OLD. HIS FAMILY GIVES US PERMISSION TO DISCLOSURE HIS NAME AND USE THIS PHOTO. ROB: EASTON LOVES SWIMMING, AND HE KILLED THAT 10 DAYS AGO. IN THE ELKHORN RIVER NEAR VALLEY. THAT’S WHEN DOCTOR BELIEVING THE RARE AMOEBA ENTERS HIS BODY. DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH SAYS THE BOY BEGAN SYMPTOMS — FIVE DAYS LATER HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL TWO DAYS NEXT. EASTON LOST HIS BATTLE YESTERDAY. JULIE: THERE’S A GO FUND ME TO HELP HIS FAMILY WITH MEDICAL AND FUNERAL EXPENSES, IT’S ALREADY SET UP ABOUT $12,000 IN THE FIRST SIX HOURS. WE WILL INCLUDE A LINK ON KETV.COM. ROB: DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH EDUCATORS SAY THAT THIS INFECTION IS INCREDIBLY RARE AND FOUND IN FRESH WATER. JULIE: AS ABBIE PETERSEN OF KETV NEWSWATCH 7 REPORTS, DO EXPERTS SAY CLIMATE AND WATER TEMPERATURE CAN PLAY ABBIE? ABBIE: UNMC PROFESSOR DR. JESSE BELL SAYS, THE AMOEBA IS SOMETHING WE TYPICALLY SEE IN THE SOUTHERN STATES BECAUSE THEY ARE TYPICALLY HOTTER. BUT THAT SEEMS TO CHANGE. DOCTOR SAY, TO THE FRESH WATER HEATING UP, AMOUBA BECOME MORE ACTIVE. >> WHEN IT GETS MORE ACTIVE AND GETS INTO THE WATER COLUMN THERE WILL BE MORE POSSIBLE FOR SOMEONE TO CONTACT THIS ORGANISM AS THEY MAY LEAD TO HUMAN OR DIRECT HUMAN HEALTH OUTCOME AND THAT. ABBIE: UNMC PROFESSOR DR. JESSE BELL SAYS WHEN THE TEMPERATURES RISE IN THE US, AND THEY SEE CHANGES IN THE ORGANISM AROUND THE WORLD. >> THAT REALLY MAKES MORE PRIME CONDITIONS FOR NAEGLERIA FOWLERI PRESENT. AND SO WE MAY SEE POTENTIALLY MORE AND MORE RANGE EXTENSION WHERE THIS ORGANISM OCCURS HISTORICALLY. ABBIE: CHECK THIS MAP FROM THE CDC IN 2021. IT SHOWS THAT MOST BRAIN-Eating AMOBEA CASES ARE IN SOUTHERN STATES. BUT WE KNOW NOW THAT THEY CAN ADD IOWA AND POSSIBLY NEBRASKA TO THAT LIST. >> WE HAVE SEEN MORE OF THIS ORGANISM IN MORE NORTHERN STATES, THAT POTENTIALLY MEANS IT GETS EVEN MORE MULTIPLE, AND MAYBE EVEN MORE COMMON. ABBIE: DR. BELL SAYS THAT THE AMOEBA LIKES MORE STAGNANT HOT WATER AND COMBINING CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS FOR A PERFECT STORM. HE SAYS WE CAN SEE MORE OF THE AMOEBA, JUST AS WE HAVE SEEN AN INCREASE IN OTHER DISEASES WHEN TEMPERATURES HAVE RISE OVER THE PAST 50 TO 100 YEARS. >> WE MAY SEE OTHER DISEASES WITH TEMPERATURE CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. AND SO WE MUST UNDERSTAND SOME OF THOSE CONNECTIONS AND WE MUST MAKE SURE WE PREPARE FOR A POTENTIAL TRANSMISSION. ABBIE: WE WANT TO REMEMBER PEOPLE NOT TO CLOSING THE ELKHORNRIVER ITSELF OR ANY OF ITS ACCESS POINTS. ABBIE PETERSEN, KETV NEWSLETTER 7. JULIE: AGAIN, THIS TYPE OF INFECTION IS VERY RARE. DOUGLAS COUNTY HEALTH DIRECTOR, DR. LINDSAY HUSE, SAYS IT TYPICALLY ENTERS THE BODY THROUGH WATER ENTERING FORCE INTO THE NOSE. >> WHEN YOU SWIMMING, IF YOU DIVE, WHEN YOU CLOSE BEHIND A BOAT, WATER SKIING, IT WILL GO UP. IF YOU’RE JUST IN A TUBE FLOATING IN THE RIVER AND DO NOT PUT YOUR FACE FORCE IN THE WATER, THEN THAT RISK LEVEL GOES MUCH LOWER. JULIE: HEALTH OFFICERS SAY SYMPTOMS MAY APPEAR ONE TO 12 DAYS AFTER INFECTION. THIS USUALLY INCLUDES FEVER, HEADACHE, NAUSEA AND vomiting.

‘Incredibly tragic’: Boy dies of suspected brain-eating amoeba in Douglas County

Health officials say the child became infected after swimming in the Elkhorn River.

Easton Gray’s family says he loved to swim, which is what he did on Aug. 8 in the Elkhorn River near Valley. That’s when Douglas County health officials believe a rare, brain-eating bacteria has entered the 8-year-old’s body. Easton’s family authorized KETV NewsWatch 7 to release his name Thursday night, along with the photo from the GoFundMe page in his memory: “Because Easton was taken from the world too soon, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.” as they mourn this incredibly tragic period.’ All money raised will go towards medical and funeral expenses. Click here for link: GoFundMe for Easton Gray’s family Health officials say the child started developing symptoms five days after swimming in the river. Two days later he went to the hospital. Easton lost his battle on Wednesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are running tests to confirm it’s Naegleria fowleri, the same brain-eating amoeba that showed up in a lake in southern Iowa this summer. A Missouri man died after being infected in Taylor County.

Easton Gray’s family says he loved to swim, which is what he did on Aug. 8 in the Elkhorn River near Valley.

That’s when Douglas County health officials believe a rare, brain-eating bacteria entered the 8-year-old’s body.

Easton’s family gave KETV NewsWatch 7 permission to release his name Thursday night, along with the photo from the GoFundMe page in his memory:

“As Easton was taken from the world too soon, we ask for your thoughts and prayers for his family and friends as they mourn this incredibly tragic time.”

All money raised will go towards medical and funeral expenses.

Click here for the link: GoFundMe for Easton Gray’s Family

Health officials say the child started showing symptoms five days after swimming in the river. Two days later he went to the hospital. Easton lost his battle on Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are running tests to confirm it’s Naegleria fowleri, the same brain-eating amoeba that showed up in a lake in southern Iowa this summer. A Missouri man died after being infected in Taylor County.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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