KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time in 35 years, a rare brain infection was found inside a Missouri resident.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, a case of Naegleria fowleri was confirmed through a laboratory.
The patient is currently being treated in an intensive care unit of a hospital.
Naegleria fowleri is microscopic single-celled, free-living ameba that can cause a rare life-threatening infection of the brain. The infection is called primary amebic meningoencephalitis.
The disease is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers and ponds.
An investigation is underway to determined where the patient was exposed.
“These situations are extremely rare in the United States and in Missouri specifically, but it’s important for people to know that the infection is a possibility so they can seek medical care in a timely manner if related symptoms present,” Dr. George Turabelidze, Missouri’s state epidemiologist, said.