SHOALS, Ind. (WTHI) - After a surprising death, members of one southern Indiana town are trying to get the word out about a deadly virus, while the county is looking for answers.
It's a case that's left many doctors scratching their heads.
On July 15th, 30 year old Waylon Abel went swimming in West Boggs Lake just north of Loogootee, Indiana. Less than a month later, he died.
An autopsy revealed Abel died from primary amebic Meningoencephalitis, an extremely rare brain eating parasite.
The parasite lives in fresh, warm water and enters the body through the nose or ears and travels to the brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, this is only the third case this year nationwide.
Now family and friends are trying to get local health officials to get the word out about the deadly parasite.
At Tuesday night's Martin County health meeting, the family pleaded with officials to warn others in the community.
They insist not enough is being done to let people know how dangerous this situation is.
"They're putting out information that says, 'hey, this parasite will make you sick. you know, you'll possibly suffer stomach flu type symptoms.' They're not putting out that it'll kill you," said John Abel, Waylon's father.
The local health board in Martin County say it's a very serious topic and they're trying to gather as much information as possible to take the correct steps.
"The primary thing now no matter how tragic the death of one person, we have to make sure that if there's anything we can do to prevent anyone else from getting it; that we do all that we can do to prevent that."
There was some good news Tuesday night. Following the meeting with county health officials, family members went to the West Boggs Lake board meeting.
After making the same case, lake board members say they will work with the family to put up signs and educate people who visit the lake.
News 10 will of course have to continue following this story to see what steps county officials take.
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