Girl dies from rare brain-eating amoeba after swimming in U.S. river

Clay Curtis
September 19, 2019

Her family said that she started feeling sick and became unresponsive while her eyes were open.

Then, on September 8, Lily "began having a headache, and it was quickly followed by a fever", according to a Facebook page created to support the girl.

The night Lily Mae fell ill, she complained she had a headache before contracting a fever.

An administrator on the Facebook page #LilyStrong, a family-made support group, wrote in a post: "Our attractive little girl is completely healed and in the arms of Jesus".

Doctors next transferred Lily to Cook Children's in Fort Worth, where a spinal tap discovered she had contracted Naegleriasis, an infection of the brain caused by the rare amoeba.

Lily Mae Avant, 10, succumbed to the often-fatal amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri early Monday at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, news station KCEN-TV reported.

Her battle for all times attracted help from throughout the USA and all over the world.

"For this to happen to her when there were so many other people in the same waters on the same days, we just don't understand why it was her", Lily's aunt Wendy Scott told KWTX.

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"Lily was an absolute blessing to our elementary school", the post said.

"Miltefosine has shown ameba-killing activity against free-living amebae, including Naegleria fowleri, in the laboratory", CDC said.

Her father John Crawson said last week that they were optimistic.

In Whitney, where Lily attended school several years ago, students and teachers observed two moments of silence Friday as a show of support.

"This campus and community are beyond blessed for the time we share with our Lily". The amoeba affects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose and works its way into the brain. "The quicker they get treatment, the better".

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

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease is nearly always fatal.

Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. One can not contact an amoeba just by swallowing the water.

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