Texas teen hospitalized, contracted life-threatening amoeba

Naegleria fowleri lifecycles

HOUSTON (AP) — A teenager is in critical condition at a Houston hospital two weeks after contracting a life-threatening amoeba while swimming in a lake.

Officials say 14-year-old Michael Riley Jr. was with friends Aug. 13 when he jumped into the lake north of Houston.

His family has said, in online postings, that Michael contracted Naegleria fowleri, which enters the body through the nose and attacks cells in the brain. The amoeba causes an infection that can cause the brain to swell.

Michael’s family says the teen developed a headache and fever and later became disoriented.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided an experimental drug to assist in treatment. The CDC says from 2005 to 2014 the amoeba infected 35 people in the U.S. All but two cases were fatal.

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