MOHAVE COUNTY – Public health officials from Mohave County and the Arizona Department of Health Services are working together on a suspected case of Naegleria Fowleri. Specimens were sent Oct. 24 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.
The CDC says Naegleria fowleri is commonly known as the “brain-eating ameba.” It’s a free-living ameba (a single-celled living organism), so small that it can only be seen with a microscope. It is commonly found in warm fresh water (such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Only one species of Naegleria infects people: Naegleria fowleri.
The investigation into possible exposures and exposure locations is ongoing. The case has not been confirmed at this time.
Naegleria fowleri infections are rare. In the United States, between zero and five cases were diagnosed annually from 2013 to 2022. During this period, a total of 29 infections were reported in the United States.
Previously, there has been a confirmed case of Naegleria fowleri in Mohave county, where the case was exposed to Lake Havasu in 2007. A Nevada resident confirmed Naegleria fowleri case was also exposed to Kingman Wash, on the Arizona side of Lake Mead in 2022.