8:20 A.M., AUG. 9 UPDATE: Small, shallow, warm, local, undisturbed, calm lake.
All characteristics are a parent's dream on a hot summer day and the ideal the breeding grounds for the deadly Naegleria.
Lily Lake, Richard Danila, assistant state epidemiologist said in a Pioneer Press article, was above 85 degrees in July and 86 degrees is when the deadly amoeba starts to thrive.
The family of Jack Ariola Erenberg, who died Tuesday after swimming in Lily Lake, are taking some comfort in knowing the 9-year-old's organs were donated and hopefully saved others.
"He was your typical boy, full of energy and full of life," Jack's grandfather Bob Watters told KARE 11 Wednesday. "But he went down hill very, very fast after he became ill."
Health officials expect test results Thursday.
3:40 P.M., AUG. 8 UPDATE: A state health official confirmed the 9-year-old boy who died Tuesday swam in four different lakes in Washington County in the last couple of weeks.
The boy — identified in news reports as Jack Ariola Erenberg — swam in Forest Lake, Square Lake in Stillwater, Big Carnelian Lake in Stillwater and Lily Lake in Stillwater. The boy also swam in the St. Croix River.
City Administrator Larry Hansen said as part of a city park it was under his authority the lake was closed.
"We are working with the state and Washington County departments of health and until we hear something from them the lake will stay closed," Hansen said. "We expect additional information every day."
While Erenberg swam in several lakes, officials say he died from a rare and deadly brain infection caused by amoebas found problematic only in Lily Lake so far, said Richard Danila, assistant state epidemiologist.
Danila said officials from the Minnesota Department of Health, the city of Stillwater and the Washington County's public health department will meet to figure out a plan for next year.
Danila noted officials in Texas recently dealt with a similar problem and decided to post a sign at the beach warning swimmers to swim at their own risk due to deaths caused by amoebas.
Danila does not yet know what officials will do about Lily Lake next year.
12:24 P.M., AUG. 8 UPDATE: The boy has been named by his mother in an interview with KSTP as Jack Ariola Erenberg.
In an interview with the Pioneer Press the boy's father, Jim Ariola, said his son had swam in Lily Lake early last week and then gotten sick on Friday when he was vacationing in Grand Marais. He was flown from a hospital in Grand Marais to Duluth.
By Saturday, Ariola said his son was on a ventilator and didn't wake back up.
Check here for more developments with this story.
ORIGINAL POST: State officials are "99 percent sure" the death of a 9-year-old Stillwater area boy is the cause of the rare and deadly brain infection caused by the microorganism, Naegleria in Lily Lake.
Richard Danila, assistant state epidemiologist, said the boy was taken off life support on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Doctors called state health department officials when they discovered what appeared to be amoebas in the cerebral spinal fluid.
Danila said Lily Lake was closed around 4 p.m. on Aug. 7, about two hours after scientists confirmed the presence of the amoeba and meningitis as likely cause of death.
Lowell Johnson, Washington County Public Health and Environment Director, said the lake was immediately closed to swimmers as a precautionary measure when officials revealed a potential link between Lily Lake and the death.
Tuesday afternoon scientists confirmed the amoebas in the 9-year-old boy were the same genotype present in 7-year-old Stillwater girl Annie Bahneman, who died in August 2010 after swimming in Lily Lake.
Johnson said after Bahneman’s death the county pledged to watch Lily Lake and had taken water samples in July, prior to the boy’s illness and death, and sent to the Center for Disease Control.
Lily Lake is small, 51 feet deep and 41 acres, warm this year and collects algae in the summer. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Naegleria infections "usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods causing higher water temperatures and lower water levels. Infections can increase during heat wave years."
"Illness happens when the organism is forced up the nose into the brain and reproduces in the cerebral spinal fluid. It causes encephalitis and eventually death," Danila said about Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, a form of meningitis. "There is no treatment. We have antibiotics but no anti-amoebas."
Danila said within two-14 days is when symptoms can start to appear in an infected person.
The deadly Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis infection is very rare, but Naegleria is a very common organism and is likely found in "all 14,000" lakes in Minnesota, Danila said. However, it becomes dangerous in warm water.
"There are hundreds of thousands of places to swim every day across the country … there have only been 125 deaths since 1962. Obviously there is a very low risk," he said.
Since 1962, 125 people across the nation have died as a result of the amoeba –Bahneman’s 2010 death was "by far the northern-most" fatality, Danila said. Because children seem to be doing more swimming and diving there has been more child deaths.
Johnson said an investigation has been launched to see why the typically southern problem has creeped into Minnesota; if Lily Lake is somehow unique since it has had two cases in the past year or if these cases are isolated coincidences; if there is a potential for more cases throughout the state; and what measures could be taken to prevent more fatalities.
Danila said precautions, like wearing a nose plug, avoiding diving in warm, small and shallow lakes can be taken now.