By Luke Roney, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2018 6:55 PM CST
(NEWSER) – Dr. Charles Cobbs, a neurosurgeon in Seattle, thought the woman had a brain tumor. A CT scan had revealed a 1.5-centimeter lesion and the 69-year-old had a history of cancer. But when Cobbs operated, he discovered something much more disturbing. “It was just dead brain tissue,” he tells Live Science. He took a sample and sent it for analysis. What did they find? “There were these amoebas all over the place just eating brain cells,” Cobbs tells the Seattle Times. “We didn’t have any clue what was going on, but when we got the actual tissue, we could see it was the amoeba.” The CDC rushed a brand-new drug to doctors in an effort to save the woman, but she died from the infection. Later, the CDC determined that the infection was cause by the “brain-eating” amoeba B. mandrillaris.