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Home / US / Brain-eating amoebas kill the Texas girl Lily Mae Avant after swimming in the Brazos River, as the family confirms

Brain-eating amoebas kill the Texas girl Lily Mae Avant after swimming in the Brazos River, as the family confirms



A primary school student in Texas died after she had contacted a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a local lake, her family confirmed. CBS subsidiary KWTX-TV reports that 10-year-old Lily Mae Avant died early Monday after being hospitalized at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth last week.

According to KWTX, officials believe Lily has contracted the brain-eating amoeba on the weekend of Labor Day in the Brazos River. Lily apparently had a headache and fever last weekend after swimming.

Cook Children's physicians found that they had primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, CBS Dallas. Fort Worth reports.

"The doctors told us that they can do nothing more for them and that they have used up all the resources, since this is such a deadly disease and their victims die so quickly," said Lily's aunt, Crystal Warren, KWTX said. "For her to do this, when there were so many other people in the same waters on the same day, we just do not understand why she was."

  Lily Mae Avant Brain Eating Amoeba
Lily Mae Avant

Family photo on KWTX TV


Lily attended Valley Mills Elementary School. Her classmates in Whitney, Texas, spent two minutes of silence on their Friday.

CBS News reported [1945914] before deaths from Naegleria fowleri, which may lead to a condition called Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM). This central nervous system disease is almost always fatal.

According to the CDC, only four out of 143 people in the United States survived infection from 1962 to 2017. The amoeba attacks humans when contaminated water enters the body through the nose and enters the brain. A person can not be infected by swallowing Naegleria fowleri contaminated water.

Naegleria fowleri is widely distributed in the southern US states during the warm summer months. Recently, however, infections have also been detected and caused in some northern states. While an infection is rare, one should be aware of the low risk of swimming in freshwater lakes, rivers and hot springs.


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