Central Texas girl fights for life after contracting brain-eating amoeba

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BOSQUE COUNTY, Tex. (KWTX) - A Central Texas girl is fighting for her life, days after swimming in the Brazos River and contracting a fresh water amoeba.

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

Her health quickly deteriorated.

She was taken first to a local hospital and then was transferred to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth where she remained Thursday evening.

“Her spinal tap revealed that she actually contracted a VERY rare amoeba that is aggressive with a high fatally rate,” a post on the Facebook page says.

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed Thursday that a Bosque County resident has primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a brain infection caused by the so-called brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which is typically found in fresh water bodies such as ponds, lakes and rivers.

“The amoeba is present in freshwater across Texas and elsewhere in the US, and there’s no particular body of water that would present a greater risk. Cases are extremely rare, despite the millions of people who swim in lakes and rivers every year,” agency spokesman Chris Van Deusen said.