Georgia Teenager Becomes Third Victim Of Brain-Eating Amoeba In The US

Tragedy strikes as a 17-year-old girl from Georgia becomes the third person this year to succumb to a brain-eating amoeba in the United States, WSB-TV reported. Megan Ebenroth, a resident of Dearing near Augusta, tragically passed away on July 22, just 11 days after swimming in a freshwater lake with her friends. The fatal infection was caused by Naegleria fowleri, a single-celled organism that enters the body through the nose and travels along the nerves to the brain. Megan, a straight-A student with aspirations of attending the University of Georgia, joins the unfortunate list of victims. Earlier this year, a two-year-old boy from Nevada contracted the infection after swimming in a lake, while a Florida man lost his life to the amoeba after using tap water to rinse his nose. Megan’s case marks the sixth death attributed to this disease in Georgia since 1962. Scientists warn that as global temperatures rise, freshwater lakes are becoming warmer, creating ideal conditions for the increase of the amoeba resulting in a high risk of infection. Megan’s mother told the outlet, “She was my world. She would tell people I was her best friend, and I would say, ‘Honey, I can’t be your best friend.’ And about three weeks ago, she said, ‘Come on, Mom, you know I’m your best friend,’ and I said, ‘Yes baby, you are.’” The lake where Megan contracted the amoeba has not been disclosed by the Georgia Department of Public Health. However, Megan’s aunt claims on social media that she swam in Clark Hill Lake in McDuffie County, Georgia. Authorities emphasize that the amoeba can exist in any freshwater lake, river, or pond in the state, instructing people to take preventative measures. Megan had a severe headache & was treated for migraine, but deteriorated rapidly. A day before her death, she was diagnosed with Naegleria fowleri, which causes fever, headache, vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, hallucinations & coma and is fatal in 97% of cases. Few survivors exist. #Clique, let’s keep this family in our thoughts and prayers.