Texas – A Junior Olympian in Texas, Michael Riley Jr., is suspected of contracting Amoeba, a deadly brain infection, according to his family’s website.
Riley, who remains at Texas Children´s Hospital in Houston, is thought to be infected with the so called “brain-eating amoeba” on August 13th while swimming in a lake. About a week later, the teen developed a headache and fever which ended up with confusion and disorientation.
The family took Michael to the Hospital, where he was put on an induced coma. The doctor who treated the patient drilled a hole in his skull to ease pressure, and cooled his body in an effort to preserve his body functions.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ameoba can infect swimmers when water enters to the nasal cavity and then travel to the brain, causing inflammation and swelling.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical School, said the ameoba could further make damage to the structure of the brain so supportive care is necessary to help relieve pressure from it.
Shaffner also said the U.S. Centers and Disease Control could provide an experimental drug called miltefosine that is approved in other countries to treat parasitic infection.
“This drug has been used to treat and has been used to treat other parasites and other pre-living amoebas,” explained Schaffner. “That’s the drug I am sure they are providing. It would be major resource available.”
Michael Riley Jr. has qualified for Junior Olympics three times in cross country.