10-year-old Texas girl dies after contracting brain-eating amoeba while swimming

National / World

BOSQUE COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) – Lily Mae Avant, the 10-year-old girl who contracted a brain-eating amoeba, died Monday morning, according to our sister station in Dallas NBC5.

Lily contracted the amoeba by swimming in the Brazos river over Labor Day weekend.

The parents and doctors thought that she was at first sick with just a simple virus after her first symptoms were a headache and fever.

The Texas Department of Health and Safety says that while the amoeba is common, the infection of it is not.

“Since it’s so rare, we don’t know why a few people get sick while millions who swim in natural bodies of water don’t,” an agency spokesperson explained. “Because the organism is common in lakes and river, we don’t recommend people specifically avoid bodies of water where people have contracted the illness.”

It enters through the nose, travels to the brain, and begins eating the tissue. According to the CDC, it is nearly always fatal.

There are only five known cases of survival, with four being in the United States.

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