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Girl, 12, Battles Brain-Eating Amoeba After Lake Swim

Girl, 12, Battles Brain-Eating Amoeba After Lake Swim

(NEWSER– Kali Hardig, 12, went swimming in a Little Rock, Ark., lake earlier this month—and, in a nightmare scenario, she's now battling a brain-eating parasite. Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic amoeba that gets to the brain through the nose, typically infecting people who go swimming in freshwater, CNN reports. But it's very rare and very deadly: "Ninety-nine percent of people who get it die," says a health department official with the state, which has seen just five confirmed cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis between 1962 and 2012.

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