Ohio teen dies after contracting brain-eating amoeba while swimming

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WESTERVILLE, OH – An Ohio teen died after she contracted a brain-eating amoeba while swimming last week.

According to WCMH, the 18-year-old girl belonged to Church of the Messiah United Methodist Church in Westerville, and last week she traveled with the church to West Virginia and North Carolina, singing at churches and nursing homes.

Before they left North Carolina, they spent that day at the U.S. Whitewater Center in Charlotte.

“They had one day of recreation where they stopped at the U.S. Whitewater Center and went whitewater rafting and they had a grand day,” Senior Pastor Jim Wilson told WCMH.

While swimming, the girl contracted meningoencephalitis, according to a representative of Westerville City Schools. She passed away on Father’s Day.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, said it met with health officials from Mecklenburg County Tuesday afternoon to discuss this case.

The disease is very rare and is only contracted through natural water sources when water is drawn into the body through the nose, according to the health department.

The CDC says symptoms start one to nine days after the water is ingested. Early symptoms can include severe headaches, fever, nausea, and vomiting. More severe symptoms include a stiff neck, seizures altered mental states, hallucinations, and a coma.

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