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Newscast 08.18.22: Nebraska child death maybe from brain eating ameba; Drought worsens in NW Iowa

Map released: Thurs. August 18, 2022 Data valid: August 16, 2022 at 8 a.m. EDT
Map released: Thurs. August 18, 2022 Data valid: August 16, 2022 at 8 a.m. EDT

A Douglas County child died this week from a suspected infection with the so-called, “brain-eating amoeba” on Sunday while swimming in the Elkhorn River, according to the Douglas County Health Department.

The microscopic, single-celled organism is commonly called the “It can cause a rare but nearly always fatal brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM, when water containing the amoeba rushes up the nose and reaches the brain, according to the CDC. If confirmed, the child’s death would be the first known death from the ameba in the state’s history,

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting further testing to confirm the infection.

ISU Extension plans a virtual drought meeting next week, as conditions get worsen in western Iowa.

Despite widespread rainfall earlier this week, drought conditions are worsening across Iowa, according to the new map out today from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Field agronomist Rebecca Vittetoe, with the Iowa State University Extension says in parts of western Iowa, there’s a few more areas that are in the D-3 or that extreme drought compared to last week. Extreme drought is now shown in five western counties: Cherokee, Monona, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury, while statewide, 67 counties are now in some form of drought, up from 64 counties last week. Vittetoe will be hosting a statewide virtual meeting next on the drought from the fall harvest perspective.

Iowa’s unemployment rate went down again in July — hitting 2.5%.
Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend says tells Radio Iowa that July extends the string of months where unemployment has dropped.
She says more people are returning to work that had previously left the workforce, and employers creating more jobs.

Due to a change in guidelines, Nebraskans that qualify for SNAP now also qualify for Head Start and Early Head Start. Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children from birth to age five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Many Head Start programs also provide Early Head Start programs that serve infants, toddlers, pregnant women and their families.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President Brent Johnson and Vice President Joe Heinrich honored 351 Iowa farm families with Century or Heritage Farm designations at the Iowa State Fair today. The program celebrates farms that have been owned by the same families for 100 and 150 years, respectively.

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