Amoeba causes child death - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Amoeba causes child death

Christian Rand Christian Rand

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – New information in the death of a 9-year-old Glen Allen boy. Christian Rand's mother confirmed for us today that her son's fatal case of meningitis stemmed from an amoeba he picked up while swimming in the James River. The little boy died just over a week ago. 

This infection is so rare, that only 32 people died from it between 2001 and 2010...the latest victim, a Florida teenager who died this afternoon. While legal reasons prevent the Virginia Health Department from officially identifying Christian Rand...the death of a child is enough that it's warning swimmers to play with caution. 

"Even when they told me he was brain dead, I thought he was going to wake up and say, ‘Hi mommy.' that never happened," said Amber Strickland, Christian Rand's mother. 

And now Amber Strickland knows why. She says officials told her that her son inhaled an amoeba while swimming. 

"I just can't believe he's gone!" she said. 

The Health Department issued a release, confirming that a child death has occurred in the area, caused by the same amoeba. 

"When a person becomes infected with it, it's from getting water up their nose and when the water goes up their nose it can access then the central nervous system and the brain and cause an infection," said Keri Hall with the Health Department.    

It's news that's enough to cause some swimming in the James to take pause. 

"We'll probably just stick our feet in it instead of putting our whole bodies in it and I think some of us all probably got some water up our nose today, so that's extremely scary," said Shawana Willis. 

"It's kind of scary but I'll definitely keep any little signs that I have a feeling of illness, whether it be meningitis or anything else," Quilla Philbrick added. 

Health officials say getting this infection is extremely rare, and you can't get it just by swallowing water. 

"The chances of getting this amoeba from swimming are much, much less than from the chances of drowning from swimming or even the chances of getting other types of infections from swimming," Hall said. 

To avoid the health risk all together, avoid stagnant water. The amoeba tends to exist in still, hot fresh water.  Also, keep your head above water or use a nose plug, so it can't get into your nose. And keep in mind-- this is incredibly rare. This is the first case of the infection in Virginia, since 1969.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • FIRST ALERT: This cool weather could be here awhile

    FIRST ALERT: This cool weather could be here awhile

    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:28 PM EDT2018-04-19 21:28:05 GMT

    Our temperatures have been trending colder than average for about 65-percent of the days of this month so far, and it looks like that overall trend could hang tough not only through most of next week, but after a very brief break, could quickly return and take us into the half of May.  Blame the semi-persistent trough, or dip southward, in the jet stream over the Midwest and East, something we've seen frequently since early March! Here's the set-up into next ...

    More >>

    Our temperatures have been trending colder than average for about 65-percent of the days of this month so far, and it looks like that overall trend could hang tough not only through most of next week, but after a very brief break, could quickly return and take us into the half of May.  Blame the semi-persistent trough, or dip southward, in the jet stream over the Midwest and East, something we've seen frequently since early March! Here's the set-up into next ...

    More >>
  • The Latest: Prince fan says superstar didn't get justice

    The Latest: Prince fan says superstar didn't get justice

    Thursday, April 19 2018 11:12 AM EDT2018-04-19 15:12:44 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:23 PM EDT2018-04-19 21:23:45 GMT
    (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File). FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo, Prince performs during halftime of the Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami. Minnesota prosecutors are planning an announcement Thursday, April 19, 2018, in their two-year investi...(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File). FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2007 file photo, Prince performs during halftime of the Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami. Minnesota prosecutors are planning an announcement Thursday, April 19, 2018, in their two-year investi...
    A Minnesota doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince a week before the musician died has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil claim.More >>
    A Minnesota doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince a week before the musician died has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil claim.More >>
  • Emporia native, NASCAR star throws out first pitch at Squirrels' peanut-free game

    Emporia native, NASCAR star throws out first pitch at Squirrels' peanut-free game

    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:00 PM EDT2018-04-19 21:00:27 GMT
    Elliott Sadler throws out first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game Thursday (Source: NBC12)Elliott Sadler throws out first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game Thursday (Source: NBC12)
    Elliott Sadler throws out first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game Thursday (Source: NBC12)Elliott Sadler throws out first pitch at the Flying Squirrels game Thursday (Source: NBC12)

    Emporia native and NASCAR star Elliott Sadler was at The Diamond Thursday instead of the race track to help raise awareness about a personal issue. 

    More >>

    Emporia native and NASCAR star Elliott Sadler was at The Diamond Thursday instead of the race track to help raise awareness about a personal issue. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly