A nine-year-old Virginia boy has died after swimming in water infected by a bug known as the “brain-eating amoeba,” according to reports. It was the third such death this month.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that Christian Alexander Strickland, 9, of Henrico County, became infected after he went to a fishing camp in the state.
The child died from meningitis Aug. 5 and Bonnie Strickland, his aunt, told the paper that Naegleria fowleri — or “brain-eating amoeba” as it is sometimes known — was a suspected cause of the illness.
Virginia health department officials confirmed a case of meningitis and an infection by the bug.
“Sadly, we have had a Naegleria infection in Virginia this summer,” Dr. Keri Hall, state epidemiologist at the Virginia Department of Health, in a statement, according to the Times-Dispatch.
The rare infection also killed a 16-year-old Florida girl this month, who fell ill after swimming. Those two deaths are consistent with past cases, which are usually kids — often boys — who get exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds or lakes.