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Published On: Fri, Sep 13th, 2019

Brain-eating amoeba case in Bosque County, Texas

A girl from Bosque County, Texas, about 100 miles south of Dallas, has contracted and is hospitalized for infection with the brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri.

Naegleria fowleri Life Cycle
Image/DPDx-CDC

According to the #Lilystong Facebook page, Lily Mae swam in the Brazos River on Sunday and later came down with a headache and fever.

“Her spinal tap revealed that she actually contracted a VERY rare amoeba that is aggressive,” a post on the Facebook page said.

According to the CDC, Naegleria fowleri  is a free-living microscopic ameba, (single-celled living organism). It can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

The ameba is commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the ameba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM, which is usually fatal. Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers.

In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water) enters the nose. You cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria.

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