A 2-year-old boy from Nevada died this week of a Naegleria fowleri infection, also known as the brain-eating amoeba, state health officials and his mother said.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Naegleria fowleri be the cause of the child’s illness, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health said in a Press release Thursday.

The boy, of Lincoln County, just north of the Las Vegas area, may have been exposed at Ash Springs, a natural hot spring in the county, he said.

State health officials did not publicly identify the boy or immediately respond to a request for his name.

His mother, Briana Bundy, said her 2-year-old son, Woodrow Turner Bundy, died Wednesday after battling the infection.

Woodrow fought for 7 days, his mother wrote on the Facebook page Rainbow for Raynie.

“He is my hero and I will always be grateful to God for giving me the best baby on earth, and I am grateful to know that one day I will have that child in heaven,” Bundy wrote.

Woodrow loved animals, including chickens, rabbits, cows, and especially moose, and enjoyed chasing her sisters around the house, according to a report. obituary.

“Woodrow’s life was a testament to how we should all live. He did everything aggressively. He loved a lot, sometimes too much. He found joy and wonder in all of God’s creations and beauties. He loved life and loved his family with every ounce of his soul,” the obituary read.

Naegleria fowleri — a microscopic single-celled living amoeba found naturally in the environment — lives in soil and in warm freshwater, such as lakes, rivers and springs, and can infect people by entering the body through the nose and traveling to the brain, state officials said.

From there, it can cause a «very serious rare infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)» that «destroys brain tissue and is almost always fatal,» according to the statement from the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

Four of the 157 people infected in the US since 1962 have survived, according to the CDC.

In February, a man in Florida died from the amoeba he may have contracted after rinsing his sinuses with tap water, health officials said.

Last year there were three confirmed cases of Naegleria fowleri that occurred after exposure to fresh water in Iowa, Nebraska and Arizona, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three cases were also reported each year in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

symptoms of a infection includes severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck, and may begin 1 to 12 days after exposure. The disease progresses rapidly after symptoms begin, and patients usually die within 18 days or less.

The infection is most prevalent in the summer months — the United States is in the midst of a month-long heat wave that is expected to continue through the weekend — and authorities have warned against jumping into or submerging in bodies of warm freshwater.

Caroline Radnofsky, bella ramirez, austin mullen and denis romero contributed.