Ark. girl fighting rare brain infection can speak

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A 12-year-old Arkansas girl who has been battling a rare and often-fatal infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba is now able to speak.

Kali Hardig was diagnosed last month with an infection caused by an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.

Health officials say there have been 128 reported infections in the United States since 1962. Before Kali, doctors could only point to one known survivor in the U.S. and another in Mexico.

1 of Kali's doctors, Dr. Vikki Stefans, said this week that Kali can now say a few words. Stefans says she also watched Kali take a few steps.

Health officials believe Kali became sick after a trip to an Arkansas water park. The amoeba that caused her infection is often found in warm freshwater.

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