A 19-year-old college student from New York was infected by a rare brain-eating amoeba during a family vacation in Maryland.
According to the Hudson Valley-based Daily Freeman, Kerry Stoutenburgh died August 31 in New York. Tests later confirmed that the Brooklyn College student contracted the ameoba after jumping off a bridge on August 20 into a warm body of water. By August 27, she was hospitalized. More details on the location from the Daily Freeman:
The commissioner said the amoeba was linked to Stoutenburgh’s recent trip to Maryland and is believed to have come from a warm body of fresh water in the Cecil County area. Smith said Stoutenburgh visited the Conowingo Creek and Gilpins Falls the same day she is believed to have come into contact with the amoeba.
The amoeba, scientifically known as Naegleria fowleri, infects people by entering through the nose, then proceeding to the brain where it attacks brain tissue, according to the CDC. The infection is very rare, with 37 cases reported in the U.S. in the 10 year period from 2006-2015. This is apparently the first case reported in Maryland.
A GoFundMe was set up to support Stoutenburgh’s family.