Sunday, July 14, 2024

Kerala Boy Dies Of Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba Infection After Taking Bath In Pond – N.F Times

Thiruvananthapuram: A 14-year-old boy passed away from amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare brain infection caused by a free-living amoeba found in contaminated waters in Kerala.

The tragic incident occurred after the boy took a bath in a pond reportedly contaminated in Kozhikode, marking the third such case in the state since May.

Earlier in May and June, a five-year-old girl from Malappuram and a 13-year-old girl from Kannur also lost their lives due to the same infection. The boy, identified as Mridul, was admitted to a private hospital on June 24 and succumbed to the infection on Thursday despite receiving treatment.

Amoebic meningoencephalitis, caused by the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri, is a rare and fatal brain infection. Commonly known as the “brain-eating amoeba,” it enters the body through the nose, migrates to the brain, consumes nerve tissue, and causes inflammation.

This infection is not transmitted from human to human. Early symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting, with additional symptoms such as stiff neck, confusion, seizures, and hallucinations developing as the disease progresses.

These symptoms usually manifest one to twelve days after exposure to contaminated water, and the infection can become lethal within five to eighteen days of symptom onset due to its rapid development.

In response to these cases, State Health Minister Veena George conducted a high-level meeting of the health department. During the meeting, it was decided that special guidelines for the state regarding amoebic meningoencephalitis would be released.

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