updated 8/8/2005 8:44:46 AM ET 2005-08-08T12:44:46

Two children died Friday after being infected with a rare parasite associated with swimming in stagnant water, health officials said.

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The boys, ages 9 and 7, did not know each other but were both believed to have been swimming in area ponds before contracting Naegleria, an amoeba that enters the body through the nose and can cause a deadly inflammation of the brain.

Three city pools were closed Friday for testing, although health officials doubt the boys contracted the disease there.

Both boys came to doctors with symptoms of fever, hallucinations and headaches, Tulsa Health Department spokeswoman Melanie Christian said.

Of the 200 known cases of Naegleria in the past 40 years, only two people have survived, health officials said.

If investigators determine the boys contracted the infection from a natural body of water, the health department would work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to post warning signs.

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