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Kerala Records 4th Case Of Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba Infection In 14-Year-Old Boy; CM Pinarayi Advises Precautions

Medical experts said the infection occurs when free-living, non-parasitic amoebae bacteria enter the body through the nose from contaminated water.

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Kerala Records 4th Case Of Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba Infection In 14-Year-Old Boy; CM Pinarayi Advises Precautions
Rare brain infection caused by free-living amoebae reported in Kerala, says govt release.(Photo Credit: Freepik.com)

Kerala is grappling with a concerning rise in cases of amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare and often fatal brain infection caused by the free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri. The latest victim is a 14-year-old boy from Payyoli, adding to the four reported cases since May. Tragically, the previous three cases resulted in the deaths of young children, underscoring the severity of the situation.

The 14-year-old boy was admitted to a private hospital on July 1, where he is currently undergoing treatment. According to one of the attending doctors, there is some improvement in his condition. The swift identification of the infection and the prompt administration of specialized medications, including those sourced from abroad, have been crucial in his treatment.

Previous deaths

Unfortunately, this recent case follows the tragic deaths of other children in the state. The first case was reported on May 21 when a five-year-old girl from Malappuram lost her life to this deadly infection. The second case was of a 13-year-old girl from Kannur, who passed away after contracting the amoebic meningoencephalitis. The third death was reported a few days ago; a 14-year-old boy who had taken a dip in the pond, passed away because of this rare disease.

Govt responses

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday held a meeting in which several suggestions, including not to bathe in unclean waterbodies, were given to prevent further infections.

In the meeting, it was also suggested that there should be proper chlorination of swimming pools and children should be careful when entering waterbodies as they are mostly affected by this disease, the statement said.

The chief minister also said that everyone should take care to keep the waterbodies clean.

“There should be proper chlorination of swimming pools, and children should be careful when entering waterbodies,” the Chief Minister stated. He also stressed the importance of keeping waterbodies clean and suggested using swimming nose clips as a preventive measure.

Brain eating Amoeba: How does it enter your body?

Medical experts said the infection occurs when free-living, non-parasitic amoebae bacteria enter the body through the nose from contaminated water. Once inside, the amoeba travels along the olfactory nerve to the brain, causing severe inflammation and rapidly progressing symptoms such as severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Despite treatment efforts involving antifungal and antimicrobial medications, the mortality rate remains high.

The disease was earlier reported in coastal Alappuzha district in the state in 2023 and 2017.





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