Texas girl, 10, dies after contracting rare brain-eating amoeba while swimming
BOSQUE COUNTY, Tx. - A 10-year-old girl died over the weekend after her fight with a rare brain-eating amoeba.
KWTC reports Lily Mae Avant passed away in a Bosque County hospital Sunday night.
Avant reportedly swam in the Brazos River and Lake Whitney over the Labor Day weekend. She came down with a headache and a fever after swimming in a pool the next weekend. Her health had deteriorated in the following weeks.
The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed she had primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a brain infection caused by the so-called brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, typically found in freshwater bodies such as ponds, lakes and rivers. It takes about a week for symptoms to manifest after the amoeba enters the body.
Texas' Department of State Health Services shared the following tips to reduce risk of infection.
• Avoid water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels
• Hold the nose shut or use nose clips when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, or hot springs
• Avoid putting your head under the water in hot springs and other untreated thermal waters
• Avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm, freshwater areas
• Use only sterile, distilled, or lukewarm previously boiled water for nasal irrigation or sinus flushes (e.g., Neti Pot usage, ritual nasal ablution, etc.)