76
      Thursday
      93 / 76
      Friday
      84 / 69
      Saturday
      87 / 66

      Rare brain eating amoeba exists in South Carolina

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - A deadly parasite doctors call the brain eating amoeba can be found in freshwater lakes throughout South Carolina.

      The amoeba has killed 32 people nationwide since 2001 including a child in Charleston last year. It lives in warm, stagnant water, and enters the the body through the nose.

      Death can occur 1 to 10 days after exposure.

      "It's possible in any freshwater when warm temperatures are present in Southern states," said DHEC Spokesman Adam Myrick. "In a pool it's not because there are disinfectants are taking care of it there."

      Myrick says although the amoeba is extremely rare, wearing a nose clip or holding your nose while diving into the water can reduce your risk of contracting parasite.

      component-story-more_media_horiz-v1-01
      FOLLOW US ON TWITTER