Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) officials released the official results of testing completed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in relation to a 14-year old boy that recently died following an acute illness, originally suspected to be associated with swimming in a local lake. Those results indicate that the cause of death was not Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis as initially suspected. Rather the cause of death was found to be streptococcal meningoencephalitis, a much more common form of bacterial meningitis. The official MDH news release can be found here.
The laboratory results help bring clarity to the situation, but do not lessen the tragic nature of this case. The results also do not change the fact that there is always a very low-level risk of infection with Naegleria fowleri when swimming in fresh water. For more information about that risk, please visit the MDH website at Naegleria and Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis.
Horizon Public Health, together with the Minnesota Department of Health, continues to encourage everyone to enjoy Minnesota summers, including participation in lake activities. And when you do, always remember to practice safe swimming recommendations.
Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. While a doctor treats people who are sick, those of us working in public health try to prevent people from getting sick orinjured in the first place. We also promote wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors.
Many have said that the work of Public Health in the community is the “best kept secret” intown. So while we go about our daily work, often in ways you might not see, Horizon Public Health would like to uncover for you a little about where you might meet up with us in the community.
Our public health system involves many players, not only the Horizon Public Health staff. It includes our medical community, our schools, our churches, our law enforcement partners, the business community, our local and state policymakers and most importantly, it involves each and every one of you.