Toddler Dies At Water Park From Bacteria

( – A beloved toddler, cherished by his parents, tragically lost his life to a brain infection caused by a dangerous amoeba after playing at a splash pad in an Arkansas country club.

On September 4, 16-month-old Michael Alexander Pollock III passed away due to the rare brain infection caused by Naegleria fowleri, while his parents, Michael Jr. and Julia Pollock, were away, as reported by Arkansas Online.

The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed the cause of death in a statement, revealing that the toddler likely contracted the brain-eating amoeba while playing in a splash pad at a country club in Little Rock, Arkansas. Water samples sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of the amoeba.

In response to the tragic event, the Country Club of Little Rock proactively closed its pool and splash pad. Health officials assured the public that there was no ongoing risk, emphasizing that such infections are exceedingly rare, with only about three cases occurring in the United States each year, albeit typically resulting in fatalities.

In the touching obituary for the young child, his parents celebrated his brief but impactful time on Earth. Michael, born on April 24, 2022, profoundly touched the lives of family, friends, and even strangers with his radiant smile and playful spirit.

The CDC highlights that Naegleria fowleri thrives in warm water, particularly at temperatures up to 115°F, making the summer months of July, August, and September the highest-risk period. Climate change is posited by experts to potentially increase the prevalence of Naegleria fowleri infections, as rising air and water temperatures and altered water levels create a more conducive environment for the amoeba to thrive.

Symptoms of the brain-eating amoeba infection typically manifest around five days after exposure, often beginning with headaches, nausea, fever, and/or vomiting. As the infection progresses, individuals may experience confusion, a stiff neck, disorientation, hallucinations, seizures, and ultimately, coma. The time between infection and death can range from one to 18 days, with an average of five days, according to the CDC.