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11-year-old girl dies after contracting brain-eating amoeba in SC river

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CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. – An 11-year-old girl who contracted a brain-eating amoeba in a South Carolina river has died.

The Charleston Post and Courier reported that Hannah Collins died Friday night after she contracted a brain-eating amoeba last month after a swim in the Edisto River.

“My beautiful angel Hannah. I feel her with me as I try to go through my day. I pray she gives me the strength to conquer the hard days ahead of me,” read a Facebook post on a page providing updates on her condition.

“My baby girl will always be with me and I will try to find comfort in the fact I will one day be united with her in her new home, Heaven.”

South Carolina health officials confirmed Tuesday that someone had been exposed to Naegleria fowleri, a one-celled organism that can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis.

Collins was apparently exposed to the amoeba while swimming in the Edisto River July 24 in Charleston County, S.C.

The organism is naturally present in warm fresh water and can be fatal if forced up the nose.