10 Year Old Death

Zyaria Hatcher, Staff Writer

A ten year old Texas girl who contracted a brain-eating virus while swimming, recently passed away on September 16. Lily Mae Avant, 10, was swimming in the Brazos River near Waco, Texas over Labor Day weekend. 

 She was flown to Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth on September 8, a spinal tap found she had contracted Naegleria fowleri, a single-cell living organism commonly found in warm freshwater, like lakes and rivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The symptoms of exposure to an amoeba includes: a change in sense of smell or taste, fever, sudden and severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting, confusion, and loss of balance. 

“It is sad that while on vacation this happened, but it is a warning to be careful and to watch where you swim and what is in the water,” stated Alexis Williams, 10. 

According to the CDC, Naegleria fowleri is known to enter the body through the nose, travel to the brain and destroy brain tissue.  Between 2009 and 2018, 34 cases of Naegleria fowleri infection were reported in the US, the CDC said.Of the 145 known cases reported to the CDC between 1962 and 2018, only four people have survived.

 The amoeba is typically found in warm freshwater, and the majority of cases in the United States have occurred in Florida and Texas. The infections are rare and deadly. A cure is currently being worked on to help the future people who get the infection, live.