Conditions

Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Another Young Child In Louisiana; St. Bernard Parish To Test Water System

lake
Experts have warned people to stay away from warm freshwater such as lakes and rivers to prevent exposure to the amoebic infection. Wikimedia Commons

Another child has died from a rare brain-eating amoeba, a fatal infection that has affected several children in recent months. The child, believed to be a 4-year-old, was reportedly playing on a plastic water slide in Louisiana when he may have contracted the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The disease is also known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

St. Bernard Parish began to flush its water system with chlorine with the goal of removing anything potentially harmful from the water. Initial tests showed that the amoeba was not present in the water system, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

The boy is from Mississippi but was visiting a home in Louisiana, and the Louisana Department of Health and Hospitals has not yet released his age and name.

The amoeba, which typically enters a person’s body through the nose while they are swimming in warm lakes or rivers, has infected children in recent months – Zachary Reyna, a Florida 12-year-old, died after contracting the amoeba while knee-boarding in a watery channel near his home, east of Fort Myers, Florida.

Hospitalized for nearly a month, Reyna suffered severe brain damage even though doctors managed to fight off the infection from antibiotics several weeks in. Another 12-year-old named Kali Hardig also became infected with the amoeba at a water park in Arkansas, but is proving to be one of the only survivors of the disease. After being treated with an experimental drug called miltefosine, which the CDC released in special cases, she has woken from her coma and is able to move and speak, according to CNN.

The disease is very rare, and has only affected 32 people between 2001 and 2010.

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