Texas Girl Dead After Contracting Brain Eating Ameoba, Family Says

Avant contracted a rare brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a river in Texas and died on Sept. 16 2019

A 10-year-old United States girl has died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba after going for a swim in a river, according to her family.

Lily Mae Avant was admitted to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, last week, reportedly suffering from fever and headaches after swimming in the nearby Brazos River, where health officials believe she encountered the deadly amoeba.

Lily's family and friends are now praying that she will get well soon. She was later rushed to the ER and treated for bacterial and viral meningitis after her parents found her incoherent and unresponsive.

"She fought the good fight", Lily's aunt, Crystal Warren, told WFAA. "We started [#Lilystrong] because we wanted to bring awareness to Amoeba in an effort to prevent any other family from having to go through this".

Lily Mae's family does not know exactly where or when she got it but said she had been swimming in the Brazos River near her Valley Mills home over Labor Day weekend.

It's absolutely heartbreaking to think that this attractive child passed away after simply enjoying a day in the water with her family and making childhood memories. PAM is caused by naegleria fowleri, commonly referred to as a "brain-eating amoeba".

"She is an outstanding student, but more importantly, she is just a tremendous person", Dowdy said.

Because of the rarity of the infection and difficulty in initial detection, about 75 percent of the diagnoses are made after the death of the patient, the CDC says. She loved everyone, and people felt it even through a TV or Facebook. The single-celled organism typically infects swimmers by travelling through the nose and into the brain.

The amoeba is found naturally in freshwater such as rivers and lakes. The rare infection is caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which is often dubbed the "brain-eating amoeba" because it targets that part of the body.

Texas' Department of State Health Services shared the following tips to reduce risk of infection.

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

You can not get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria.

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