A MAN has died after a brain-eating parasite swam up his nose at a water park.
Eddie Gray died less than two weeks after he went swimming at Fantasy Lake water park in Guilford County, North Carolina.
The church goer died on July 22 from complications related to Naegleria fowleri a single-celled amoeba that entered his body while swimming at the water park.
Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in freshwater and according to WRAL, is harmless when swallowed but can be deadly when ingested nasally.
Gray contracted the rare disease amebic meigeoncephalitis from the parasite, causing inflammation and destruction of the brain and the linings of the brain.
The infection commonly begins with severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, fever – later escalating to seizures and a coma.
Health officials in Guildford County have since put up warning signs for swimmers but have not closed the water park.
Interim Director of the Cumberland County Health Department Dwayne Holder said: “Swimming in and of itself is not so much of a concern.
“Now, diving, jumping in from heights and maybe some of the forceful activity of submerging, those are situations I would make sure I had nose clips, nose plugs, or I’d pinch my nose if I knew I was going to be forcibly entering the water.”
The Centers for Disease Control have only documented 145 brain-eating infections since 1962.
Diving, jumping from heights, and forceful activity of submerging, are all activities that are likely to put swimmers at risk.
In a statement to the Charlotte Observer, the pastor at Gray’s church, Rev Justin Lowe said: “Our church family is deeply saddened by this loss and our prayers are with the family in this time of grief.