MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – A Mid-South doctor talked to Local 24 News following the death of a 10-year-old Texas girl who contracted a brain-eating amoeba.
Lily Mae Avant got the amoeba after swimming in the Brazos River over Labor Day weekend. Her parents thought that she was first sick with just a simple virus when her first symptoms were a headache and fever.
Health officials say that the amoeba enters through the nose, travels to the brain, and begins eating the tissue.
One way to avoid the disease is by avoiding jumping into warm water, like lakes.
Some concern came from the use of Neti pots, so we spoke with Dr. Muhammad Khurshid, an Infectious Disease Specialist at St. Francis Hospital.
“Anything that exposes to water could potentially cause it, but again, not to frighten everybody, this is a very, very uncommon disease. A lot of people get exposed, but not everyone gets sick,” he said.
The CDC says that although contracting the disease is very rare, it is nearly always fatal. There are only five known cases of survival, with four in the U.S.