South Florida swimmer suffering from brain-eating amoeba after diving in Broward water

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A brain-eating bacteria has sent a swimmer to the hospital after the person dove into a body of water in Broward County.

According to the Florida Department of Health, a person is being treated for an infection that stems from a brain-eating amoeba. These kind of microorganisms live in warm, fresh water like a lake, a pond or a river.

Officials said the person was infected while in unsanitary water on private property in Broward. The exact location of the water has not yet been released by officials.

The victim is receiving medication from Orlando that may save his life, considering that the condition has a 97 percent mortality rate.

The founder of the medication company who developed the new drug, Todd McLaughlin, spoke with 7News. He said his son helped get the medication to the victim. “I was able to call my son who happened to be home and had him go into the office and get the product and actually start driving,” he said. “We’re hoping now with what’s going on here in Florida, that we can actually beat the clock and get there in time.”

Just last week, 11-year-old Hannah Collins of South Carolina passed away after picking up the deadly microorganism in a river, and three years ago, a 12-year-old boy named Zachary Reyna died from contracting the amoeba in Florida.

Now, the hope is, this new drug works in time to save the person fighting this deadly illness.

7News has reached out to the Florida Department of Health for a response on how successful the medication is.

The age of the victim has not been released.

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