Megan Ebenroth, a Georgia student, died on July 22, 2023, after contracting a rare brain-eating amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri while swimming in a freshwater lake. The infection is extremely rare, but it is always fatal if left untreated.
Ebenroth was a straight-A student and a leader in several school organizations. She had dreams of attending the University of Georgia after graduating from Thomson High School.
Megan Ebenroth cause of death
Naegleria fowleri is found in warm freshwater, such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs. The amoeba enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain, where it causes severe brain damage. Symptoms of infection usually appear 1-12 days after exposure and include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, and coma.
There is no cure for Naegleria fowleri infection. Treatment is supportive and includes measures to reduce brain swelling.
The Georgia Department of Public Health issued a public safety alert following Ebenroth‘s death. The alert advised recreational water users to be cautious when entering warm freshwater areas, especially if they have a cold or other condition that could make them more susceptible to infection.
Ebenroth‘s death is a tragic reminder of the dangers of Naegleria fowleri infection. However, it is important to remember that the risk of infection is low. If you are planning to swim in a freshwater area, take these precautions to reduce your risk: