10-year-old Texas girl dies from brain-eating amoeba infection


The 10-year-old girl who was on life support after contracting a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a Texas river has died, her family said.

Lily spent Labor Day weekend with her family swimming in the river, which winds through their backyard. Lily Mae's symptoms began with a headache and fever then her condition quickly deteriorated.

It's absolutely heartbreaking to think that this lovely child passed away after simply enjoying a day in the water with her family and making childhood memories.

About a week later, on September 8, Lily started suffering from a fever, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

Doctors at Cook Children's determined she was suffering from primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is an infection to the brain caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, CBS DFW reports.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the rare brain infection, called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), is nearly always fatal.

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The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, causes a brain infection that leads to the destruction of tissue. "She was an outstanding student, but more importantly, Lily was an incredible person and friend to all".

Lily Mae "fought the good fight", said her aunt, Loni Yadon, and cousin, Wendy Scott, WFAA reported. Between 2009 and 2018, the CDC tracked 34 infections in people nationwide. It was incredible to bare witness and I'm humbled to be a tiny part of her handsome story.

Between 1962 and 2017, only four patients out of 143 have survived this particular infection in the U.S. The amoeba enters the body through the nose and works its way towards the brain. The amoeba is very common in natural, unchlorinated bodied across the US, but it is extremely rare.

The chances of contracting a brain-eating amoeba in the US remain rare.

The ameba is commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. A person can not get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that infection usually happens when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places.