To the tragic story of a New York teen’s life cut short by the most improbable of culprits: a microscopic amoeba. Health officials in her home state confirmed that Kerry A. Stoutenburgh, 19, from Brooklyn, N.Y., died last week of Naegleria fowleri amoeba, which is is commonly found in warm freshwater lakes, rivers and hot springs. Her uncle told the Whig that he believes she contracted the parasite while swimming in Conowingo last month. The amoeba, a naturally occurring organism, can be deadly when it is forcibly introduced up the nose, where it can lead to damage effects on the brain. Her uncle said she had been swimming with family and friends in local waters, even jumping from an abandoned railroad bridge into a creek — the likely culprit. The death from the “brain-eating amoeba” is exceedingly rare, however. So much so that Stoutenburgh is believed to be the first person in New York or Maryland to die from it and fewer than 200 people have died from Naegleriasis in the past 50 years nationwide. We can only shake our heads at the circumstances and grieve with Stoutenburgh’s family.