Teen dies from dangerous amoeba infection

Aug 15 2011 - 11:52am

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 16-year-old girl who doctors suspect may have been infected by a dangerous amoeba while swimming in Brevard County has died, according to a family spokesman.

Courtney Nash became ill after swimming with her family in the St. Johns River. Within days, she landed at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in critical condition.

She was suffering from symptoms similar to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM -- an often deadly infection caused by the waterborne amoebas, officials said.

That diagnosis will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rare brain infection had killed 30 people in Florida since 1937, according to the CDC.

Nash died about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, according to Lt. Jeff Taylor, a Brevard County firefighter who said he was asked to release the information on the family's behalf.

Nash's family was not expected to make any statement until Monday at the earliest. No details about possible funeral arrangements were released.

(c) 2011, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


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