Houston boy dies from brain-swelling amoeba

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HOUSTON — A 14-year-old boy has died after coming into contact with a rare amoeba while swimming in a lake north of Houston with friends.

Michael Riley’s family posted on Facebook that he will now he will “move on to be with the Lord for future heavenly tasks…”

It all started after Michael went swimming at Sam Houston State Park on August 13, and reportedly got a headache and fever shortly after. Family says he was diagnosed with Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, a disease that only infected 35 people in the U.S. between 2005 and 2014 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But 33 of those cases were deadly.

The disease is apparently contracted by inhaling a certain kind of amoeba that can be found in some Houston lakes. Doctors suggest keeping your head above water or using nose plugs to be safe.

Now, Michael’s family is vowing to raise awareness and help support research on the disease.




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