CDC confirms amoeba caused boy’s death

Lily Lake Beach was closed until further notice earlier this week after the presence of Naeglaria fowleri was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta as the cause of young boy’s death.

Jack Ariola Erenberg had gone for a late summer swim a few days before dying of a rare disease called Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis.

Before the CDC tests were confirmed, Assistant State Epidemiologist Richard Danila said he was “99 percent sure” that the amoeba was responsible for 9-year-old Erenberg’s death.

The Minnesota Department of Health said in a press release that, “it will never be possible to know for sure where the child was infected, but the timing of the illness and other factors point to Lily Lake in Washington County.”

Erenberg is not the first child to have contracted PAM after a swim in Lily Lake. Seven-year-old Anne Bahneman, also of Stillwater, died of the lethal and rare disease in 2010. Only 125 cases have been reported since 1924.

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