A new case of the virus calledCoVID-19 has been reported on a Canadian island, health officials said on Thursday.
The new case was reported on Prince Edward Island, just north of Maine, by Health Minister Mark Furey.
There are currently more than a dozen confirmed cases in the province, he said in a statement.
Furey said that physicians had determined that the person who was recently diagnosed is not connected to the four others who have contracted CoVID-19.
All six who are sick have been hospitalized.
“We are hopeful that CoVID-19 will be contained on Prince Edward Island, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely,” Furey said.
CoVID-19 is a parasitic infection caused by the Blandy’s viremia parasite in the amoeba, which resides in freshwater.
According to a website about the infection, the parasite eats away at the stomach lining of the person and can cause severe abdominal pains and cramps, and vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms occur within about 15 to 30 days after exposure.
CoVID-19 appears to affect more men than women and is very difficult to diagnose, said Marion Rayman, microbiologist at University of Connecticut Health Center, in a phone interview.
“[The symptoms] can be mistaken for many other infections, particularly stomach ulcers, so a lot of the time that people go to their doctor and just tell them ‘my stomach hurts’ … they think they have appendicitis,” Rayman said.
Although public health officials do not know how many people have been infected, the New Brunswick health ministry said earlier this year that 250 people had been infected with the amoeba.
If the amoeba has been present for long enough, it can grow to the point where it enters the blood stream, according to a Mayo Clinic medical site. In small numbers, it can cause brain damage.
Click for more from Fox News.