Girl, 10, dies from brain-eating amoeba she caught while swimming | UK News

Girl, 10, dies from brain-eating amoeba she caught while swimming | UK News

A 10-year-old girl has died after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a river.

Lily Mae Avant, from Texas, started suffering from a headache and fever after swimming in the Brazos River and Lake Whitney.

She died in hospital following a week-long battle with the rare amoeba.

According to a Facebook page set up in support of Lily Mae, her symptoms were initially put down to a common viral infection.

But when she became incoherent and unresponsive, she was flown to hospital in Fort Worth.

A spinal tap found she had contracted naegleria fowleri, a single-cell living organism which can cause the brain to swell and cut off blood flow.

Lily Mae’s school, Valley Mills Elementary, confirmed she had died on Monday.

In a Facebook post, it said the school was “deeply saddened” by her loss, adding: “She was an outstanding student, but more importantly, Lily was an incredible person and friend to all.

“She was loving, kind, respectful, and had a beautiful heart.”

Lily Mae died more than a week after contracting the amoeba
Lily Mae died a week after contracting the amoeba

A post on the #Lilystrong Facebook page said she was “completely healed and in the arms of Jesus”.

The family are hoping to raise awareness of the rare amoeba, which can be found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers and hot springs.

Out of 145 known US cases between 1962 and 2018, only four people have survived, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fatality rate is over 97%.


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