A brain-eating amoeba attacked a 14-year-old teen from Houston who is in critical condition at the Texas Children's Hospital on Monday. Michael Riley Jr., an honor student and a runner that has qualified three times for the Junior Olympics, has been put into a medically induced coma. His family said on Monday night his brain continues to develop more swelling, USA Today reported.
The brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, made its way into Riley's nose and travelled into his brain when he swam in a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest on Aug. 13 during a trip with his new high school track team and their coach.
A week after the trip, the young teen felt disoriented, developed a fever with extreme headache and neck pain that can be associated with meningitis. The brain infection caused by the brain-eating amoeba is called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
"Coming from a lake, you might think maybe you'd get an ear infection, something like that," said Mike Riley, the teen's father. "You wouldn't think that going to the doctor's office that they'd tell you your son only has a couple days to live, which is what they told us."
The teen's mom is still in shock after learning that only three people recorded have survived this infection and the most recent survivor is Kali Hardig, a teen from Arkansas. Hardig's similar treatment of medically induced coma and cold mat therapy is recommended by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to ABC 13 Eyewitness News.
On Friday, a swimmer from California died after a brain-eating amoeba made its way into the brain of the 24-year-old victim. The woman from San Diego County went swimming in Colorado River's Martinez Lake and Fisher's Landing areas, Yuma Sun reported.
This year, five cases have been reported in the United States. Several weeks ago, a child from Houston did not survive the infection. It is important to take note of the symptoms: headache, vomiting, fever and disorientation.
Below are the previous cases:
— Amoeba Awareness (@teamkoralreef) August 21, 2015