Health

'You Get It Through Your Nose': Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Oklahoma Woman

| by Sean Kelly

A woman in Oklahoma died from a brain-eating amoeba after swimming in a lake.

Elizabeth Knight, 24, was remembered fondly by her boyfriend and family following her unexpected death, according to KFOR.

“Her smile was just humongous," boyfriend Eric Bowers told KXII. "Everybody gravitated to her smile and her bubbly personality. And you couldn't help but want to smile back at her and want to talk to her."

Knight took her two children to the local lake earlier this month, and began complaining of headaches soon after. A doctor gave her pain medication and sent her home, but things quickly began to get worse.

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“I woke up to her stumbling and with her legs buckling, and had no motor skills at all. Just falling down the hallway,” Bowers said. “She was sporadic, she couldn’t control her own body movements.”

A few hours later, Knight was dead.

What happened to her, doctors said, was extremely rare.

“You get it through your nose," Amber Marr, a health department coordinating nurse, said. "Basically, you would have to have some contact with the amoeba through your nose and from there, it attacks your brain.

“It is very rare, so people can still swim in lakes, they can still go out and have fun on lakes out here, but we are going to encourage safe swimming practices.”

Typically, those who are exposed to the amoeba start to show symptoms five days after contact. Symptoms generally include high fever, headaches and nausea, and ultimately induce seizures and coma.

There have been seven cases of brain-eating amoeba in Oklahoma since 1998.

Sources: KFOR, KEYE TV

Photo credit: keyetv.com, KXII