(Mirror Daily, United States) Hannah Collins, aged 11, died Friday after being infected by a brain-eating amoeba. The little girl was swimming in Edisto River (Charleston County, South Carolina), where she contracted the amoeba, in July. Her death took both family and doctors by surprise.
The Collins family provided the press with a statement:
“Hannah loved life, her family and friends and, although this is not the outcome we wished for, our sweet girl has joined the angels…”.
The child died on Friday night, at 10:20 p.m., according to her relatives.
After previously announcing that there has been reported a case of brain-eating amoeba infection, officials revealed the identity of the victim: Hannah Collins.
The terrible incident was caused by a small organism, Naegleria fowleri, which lives in warm waters (lakes, ponds, even in mud), and it is most active in summer, because it it attracted by heat. Naegleria fowleri is not harmful if swallowed in the human organism, but it can be deadly if it reaches the brain, The only way this can happen is if inhaled through the nose, which was the case of Hannah Collins.
The first symptoms that the brain-eating bacteria is in your body appear only some seven days after the actual contact. Patients usually report nausea, headache, and vomiting. When it reaches the brain, it produces deadly damages. Doctors say that, in most cases, the bacteria dies in our body before getting to cause such damage. This is why they didn’t expect Hannah would die.
Hannah was administered medication which had led to other patients’ recovery.
Hannah Collins was a remarkable girl, winning the beauty contest for the age just a few months before. The director of the competition, Ann Drawdy, said about her:
“A precious little girl, a precious child. She’s a very sweet child, and humble and very appreciative.” (Ann Drawdy)
Epidemiologist Linda Bell draws attention on how people should behave when going for a swim in natural waters so that the situation won’t occur again:
“You should avoid swimming or jumping into bodies of fresh water when the water is warm, and the water levels are low. Also, you should either hold your nose or use a nose plug. You cannot be infected by merely drinking water containing the amoeba.” (Linda Bell)
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia