Child dies of suspected amoeba infection in Minn.

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating after a child died of a suspected amoeba infection.

Health officials said Tuesday the elementary-school-aged child apparently died of a rare form of meningitis caused by an amoeba associated with warm freshwater.

The amoeba causes severe brain infection and is nearly always fatal. The organism infects people by entering the body through the nose during swimming or diving.

The infection usually occurs in the southern U.S. Minnesota's only previously confirmed case was reported in August 2010.

Health officials say the child had gone swimming at various locations in Washington County two weeks before getting sick, including Lily Lake in Stillwater. That lake was the likely source of infection in Minnesota's previous case. Lily Lake is closed to swimming until further notice.