An 18-year-old Ohio girl died from a brain-eating amoeba believed to have infected her during a church trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, health officials say.
The teen died Sunday of primary amebic mengioencephalitis, a rare but fatal brain infection caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, said Mitzi Kline, director of communication for Franklin County Public Health, CNN reported.
The presence of the amoeba in the teen's spinal fluid was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency says the amoeba occurs in warm freshwater and soil, but not salt water such as oceans.
The girl's "only known underwater exposure was believed to be when riding in a raft with several others that overturned at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte," according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, CNN reported.
The death is being investigated by the CDC, state and county health officials, and the water park.