CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Positive test results of the brain eating amoeba showed up at The U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) on Friday night. The Whitewater Center decided take precautions and temporarily closed all whitewater activities after consulting with the centers for disease control and Mecklenburg Health Officials about how to proceed.
Visitors told FOX 46 Charlotte they heard about the results and about how the “Brain Eating” Amoeba killed a young Ohio teen but still they weren't worried.
"It's more likely that you are going to drown in the water than this amoeba, so it doesn't bother me at all,” said Rob Heim.
While all whitewater activities have been suspended, that doesn't mean people are still not going to the center. There was long line of people trying to get in and the center tells FOX 46 Charlotte that there is still access to the Catawba River to go kayaking. So you can still get in some water action just not the whitewater section. Other whitewater center activities continue to be open and many people like Rob Heim took advantage of the trails.
"I love it here. I come here about once a week mostly to mountain bike and run the trails. This isn't gonna stop me from coming," said Heim.
"I think everybody is just excited to be here and ride the trails and do the other things like zip line and everything that is available," said Chris Holland.
The parking lot was full on Saturday morning. USNWC employees tell FOX 46 Charlotte that this is what a normal Saturday looks like regardless.
From what we have learned about "Brain Eating" Amoeba is that it lives in warm fresh water or even unfiltered water and the symptoms look like bacterial meningitis but Health specialists still don't know much about it. The only thing they can tell us is there's a section in the nasal cavity where the amoeba can easily go through to your brain.
"Many people are expose to this potentially but only a few people get infected. I don't think we know what are the predisposing factors. But they think things like diving or sudden splash of water hitting inside of your nose might be risk factors," said Dr. Anupama Neelakanta.
USNWC is continuing to work with health officials and they hope to find a solution soon to continue business as normal.