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Central California Woman, 21, Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba

BISHOP (CBS13) – Officials say a Central California young woman has died from a brain-eating amoeba infection.

The 21-year-old was a Bishop residnt. Inyo County public health officials say she woke up from a nap on June 16 with a headache and was soon vomiting. When the symptoms wouldn't go away after a day, she was taken to the ER at Northern Inyo Hospital.

Doctors first diagnosed her with meningitis, but her condition continued to deteriorate. She was then flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, but soon died in the ER.

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Tests done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have found evidence that the woman was infected by Naegleria fowleri, known commonly as the brain-eating amoeba.

Officials believe the woman caught the amoeba on private property, but wouldn't elaborate on exactly how she was infected. However, the amoeba usually infects people who swim in warm freshwater lakes and rivers, or in poorly-maintained pools.

Only 133 cases of the infection have been reported over the past 53 years, public health officials say. However, only three people are known to have survived the infection.

There have been only seven documented cases of the infection in California.

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