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Arkansas Water Park Shuts Down After Brain-Eating Parasite Discovered

Well, this is terrifying. The CDC has found a rare parasite in an Arkansas water park. Amoebic meningo-encephalitis, a rare brain-eating parasite found in warm, freshwater areas was discovered at the Willow Springs water park after a 12-year-old girl got sick.

The freshwater park quickly and voluntarily closed after CDC tests confirmed the parasite was present in the water. Although the chance of getting amoeba meningo-encephalitis is just 1 in 32 million, and only 150 cases have been confirmed in the United States, two cases came from Willow Springs. The parasite only lives in freshwater environments, like Willow Springs. Chlorinated water, which is found at most water parks, is not at risk.

So does that mean you should avoid going to the river or lake? Not at all.  Wearing nose clips, avoid dunking the head underwater in natural water settings like lakes and also avoiding swimming where the water temperature is over 85 degrees can help you avoid the parasite.

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