Brain-eating amoeba suspected in Indiana lake death

September 7, 2012 2:43:30 PM PDT
Federal health officials are looking into the death of an Indiana man who was infected by a brain eating amoeba at an Indiana lake.

State and federal officials haven't yet confirmed 30-year-old Waylon Abel of Loogootee died of a rare infection known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis, but the autopsy report released Friday lists it as his primary cause of death.

He died Aug. 7, just over three weeks after a family outing at West Boggs Lake, about 60 miles northeast of Evansville. The beach there was ordered closed Friday.

The waterborne parasite gets into the brain through the nose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can be found in all bodies of water -- but it's very rare.

In the last 10 years there have been more than 30 cases throughout the United States.

To prevent infection, the CDC recommends you hold your nose shut when in warm water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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