14-year-old Houston boy with brain-eating amoeba dies

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Sunday, August 30, 2015
14-year-old with brain-eating amoeba dies
Fourteen-year-old Michael Riley, diagnosed with a brain-eating amoeba, has died.

HOUSTON -- A 14-year-old Houston boy who was fighting for his life after a brain-eating amoeba entered his body while swimming at a local lake has died at Texas Children's Hospital, according to a post by his family on his Facebook page.

Michael Riley fought Primary Amoeba Meningoencephalitis, a disease that also claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy in Houston.

Michael's family posted this message Sunday morning:

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Michael's family.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 97 percent of patients who contract PAM do not survive. The amoeba is common in Texas freshwater lakes and rivers, but the infection caused by the amoeba is very rare. The state health department does not place warning signs around lakes to warn swimmers.

There's still a lot to be learned about the brain-eating amoeba, but doctors said children are the most common victims. They are the ones playing, splashing and jumping in the lakes; those activities increase the likelihood of water going up their noses.