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Arkansas toddler dies of rare brain-eating amoeba infection likely contracted at country club splash pad

A toddler who was his parent’s “pride and joy” died from a brain-eating amoeba after playing at an Arkansas country club’s splash pad. 

Michael Alexander Pollock III, a 16-months-old, passed away on Sept. 4, after contracting the rare brain-eating infection while his parents, Michael Jr. and Julia Pollock, were out of state, Arkansas Online said.

In a press release, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed that the toddler had died from an infection caused by the amoeba, also known as Naegleria fowleri. Officials said that the young toddler was likely exposed to the brain-eating amoeba while playing in a splash pad at a Little Rock, Arkansas, country club.

Naegleria fowleri

Brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, 3-D illustration. (iStock)

The Health Department sent water samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which confirmed that one sample had traces of the amoeba, the press release said.

The Country Club of Little Rock closed its pool and splash pad voluntarily and there is no ongoing risk to the public, officials said. The state’s Health Department noted that only about three people in the United States get infected each year, but that the infections are usually fatal.

Fox News Digital’s Melissa Rudy contributed to this report.

Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a writer on the breaking news team for Fox News Digital. You can reach her on Twitter at @s_rumpfwhitten.

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