Heide Brandes, Reuters
First posted: Thursday, August 13, 2015 02:08 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, August 13, 2015 02:11 PM EDT
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma man has died after contracting a rare brain-eating disease while swimming in a lake in the southern part of the state, officials said on Thursday.
The man, whose name has not been released, was hospitalized last week in Oklahoma City after a swim in Lake Murray, about 115 miles south of Oklahoma City, health officials said. He died on Wednesday.
The disease is caused by exposure to a single-celled organism known as Naegleria fowleri, commonly referred to as the brain-eating amoeba.
It is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers and hot springs, as well as soil. It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Contracting the brain disease is rare, it said.
The organism is most commonly encountered in the southern United States during the summer, when temperatures are highest, the CDC said. Of 133 people known to have been infected with it in the United States since 1962, only three have survived, the CDC said.
The Daily Oklahoman reported that Lake Murray remains open to swimmers.
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