A Texas teenager who contracted a rare brain-eating disease after swimming in a lake about 70 miles (110 km) north of Houston has died, according to his family and the local media.
The 14-year-old Michael Riley Jr., a junior athlete and honor student, appears to have contracted the disease after he went swimming on August 13 in his team track, his father Mike Riley KTRK said earlier this week.
"It is with a heavy heart, we let everyone know that Michael John Riley Jr. lost his battle in this world but won a victory for his place in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ," the family said in a statement on Their page late on Saturday night on Facebook.
A spokeswoman for Texas Children's Hospital, where Riley is listed as a patient, declined to provide information when reached on Sunday, citing patient confidentiality.
The disease is caused by exposure to a single-celled organism known as Naegleria fowleri, often referred to as the brain-eating amoeba.
It is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers and hot springs, as well as the ground. It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Contracting encephalitis is rare, it said.
The organism is usually found in the southern United States during the summer, when temperatures are highest, said the CDC. Of the 133 people known to have been infected in the United States since 1962, only three survived, said the CDC.