Junior Olympian battle on a deadly brain-eating parasite

A three-time Junior Olympian is fighting for his life after contracting deadly amoeba.

A deadly brain-eating parasite acquired by a star athlete from Texas. He is now fighting for his life at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. A three-time Junior Olympian, experienced headache and pain in his neck after swimming in a lake.

It was believed that the boy was contracting a deadly amoeba that infects the brain found in warm freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers, and in the very warm water of hot springs. When water containing N. fowleri is breathed in through the nose, infections can occur then. It invades through nasal tissue and olfactory nerve tissue to enter part of the brain.

According to reports, Michael Riley Jr, 14 year-old, woke up with a headache and fever last Wednesday, a week after he swum in a Texas lake with his running teammates, but doctors could not explain why. The deadly brain-eating parasite, a very rare case, however cause irreversible damage and can kill infected person.

Michael Riley Jr, a three-time US junior Olympian, due to start high school this week before being taken seriously ill. He jumped into a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest, two days later woke up with unbearable headache neck pain. A week later, he was in a medically induced coma.

US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said, Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis attacks the central nervous system and its rapid progression makes it difficult to detect. As a result most diagnoses are made post mortem. Parasite can travel to the brain and result in death within a day to two weeks, drinking does not cause infection but enters via water up the nose, followed symptoms like headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, progressing to a stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status and hallucinations.

His family posted on their GoFundMe page, “TCH performed many tests but also ran an uncommon one that would help diagnose that Michael had contracted a brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowler, which then causes a rare disease, Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM).”

Michael was transferred to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Doctors then began administering an experimental drug from the Center for Disease Control. His family is praying for a miracle happen to Micheal, as only few people have ever survived the rare deadly brain-eating parasite.

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