Health officials say suspected case negative for rare brain-eating amoeba in Arizona

Oct 25, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:05 pm

Health officials determined a suspected case of a rare brain-eating amoeba identified in Arizona was negative. (CDC Photo)

(CDC Photo)

PHOENIX — Health officials said a suspected case of a rare brain-eating amoeba in Arizona turned out to be negative for the infection.

Specimens of the suspected case of Naegleria Fowleri were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing and determined to not be positive, Eugene Livar, assistant director of public health preparedness for the Arizona Department of Health Services, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

The suspected case occurred in Mohave County.

Naegleria Fowleri infections typically occur when people go swimming, diving or put their heads under fresh water, such as lakes or rivers.

The infection cannot be spread between people.

How rare is Naegleria Fowleri?

Domestically, no more than five cases were diagnosed annually from 2013 to 2022, according to the CDC. A total of 29 infections were reported during that time.

There have been Arizona cases in the past.

Last year, a Nevada resident was infected in Kingman Wash on the Arizona side of Lake Mead, according to Livar.

In 2007, a case happened at Lake Havasu.

An infection destroys brain tissue, which causes swelling and death. About 97% of people infected with Naegleria Fowleri have died from it in the past 60 years, according to the CDC.

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of a story that was originally published Oct. 24, 2023.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department, file)...

Police identify teen boy who died after shooting in central Phoenix

A teenage boy who was shot and later died in central Phoenix on Saturday afternoon has been identified, according to Phoenix Police. 

5 hours ago

Solar panels...

Damon Allred

Gila River Indian Community to receive solar panels over canals

The Biden-Harris Administration will give $5.65 million to construct and install solar panels over the Casa Blanca Canal.

8 hours ago

Artist rendering of the upcoming Taco Viva restaurant in Phoenix. (Aline Architecture)...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Real estate investor to open drive-thru Taco Viva restaurant in Phoenix

Taco Viva, a new restaurant founded by the managing director of a Scottsdale real estate investment firm, is set to open in early 2024.

9 hours ago

(Facebook Photo)...

Associated Press

Pilot killed in small plane crash near Eloy Municipal Airport

A pilot has been killed in a small plane crash in a vacant lot near Eloy Municipal Airport, about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, police said.

20 hours ago

Firebird Motorsports Park....

Chandler racing complex renamed Firebird Motorsports Park

Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler has a new name -- Firebird Motorsports Park.

22 hours ago

Pamela Andrews...

Silver Alert canceled after 68-year-old woman located

The Mesa Police Department canceled a Silver Alert on Saturday after locating Pamela Andrew, the Arizona Department of Safety says.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @iamdamonallred...

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

Health officials say suspected case negative for rare brain-eating amoeba in Arizona