A family friend is asking for thoughts and prayers for an 11-year-old South Carolina girl hospitalized after contracting a usually deadly brain-eating amoeba.

Kate Olin said in a statement Thursday on behalf of Hannah Collins' family to The Beaufort Gazette (http://bit.ly/2aVtWfg) that the family appreciates the tremendous outpouring of love and support they've received.

South Carolina health officials confirmed Tuesday that someone had been exposed to Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER'-ee-uh FOW'-lur-ee), a one-celled organism that can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis.

Health officials didn't identify the patient, saying it appears the individual was exposed to the amoeba while swimming July 24 in the Edisto River in Charleston County, South Carolina.

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