Man killed by brain-eating amoeba after diving in Thailand


A South Korean man who was vacationing in Thailand has had to pay with his life. During his visit to Thailand, the man contracted the rare and very deadly Naegleria fowleri, also known as ’brain-eating amoeba’.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has confirmed that a Korean man ’in his fifties’ has died after returning from Thailand. The man had been in Thailand for four months. The man was admitted to a hospital shortly after returning home and died last Wednesday.

After some tests, it turned out that the man had contracted an infection with Naegleria fowleri. This parasite develops mainly in freshwater lakes or rivers. Swimming pool water that contains too little chlorine is also a hotbed for the microorganisms. Normally, an amoeba feeds on bacteria, but when it enters the human body, it likes to feed itself with tissue. In extremely rare cases, it can cause “primary amoebic meningoencephalitis” when water containing the amoeba flows through the nose and reaches the brain. The incubation period for Naegleria fowleri is usually two to three days and a maximum of 15 days. According to The Star, infection with the amoeba is very rare. Since 2018, a total of 381 cases of Naegleria fowleri have been reported worldwide.