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14-Year-Old Boy Critically Ill After Contracting a Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba in the US

by Reshma Anand on  August 26, 2015 at 2:44 PM Child Health News   - G J E 4
A teenage boy contracts a rare brain-eating amoeba from a lake in Sam Houston Jones State Park, near Lake Charles, Louisiana.
14-Year-Old Boy Critically Ill After Contracting a Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba in the US
14-Year-Old Boy Critically Ill After Contracting a Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba in the US
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14-year-old Michael Riley Jr is an athlete and was due to his first year of high school. While training with his new track team he jumped into the lake and after a week he has been diagnosed with a rare brain infection called as Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM).

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Only 125 cases of the illness have been recorded in the United States in the last 50 years, and the survival rate is just three percent. The amoeba has entered through the nasal passage to his brain while he jumped into the lake.

Doctors at the Texas Children Hospital's West Campus discovered he had contracted the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri. The boy experienced fever, severe headaches and neck pain and now is in medically induced coma.

Doctors were able to diagnose it easily because of a similar case they had seen only three weeks before. An experimental drug from the Center for Disease and Control has been administered to the boy.

The same drug was given in 2013 to Arkansas teen Kali Hardig, who survived, despite the amoeba killing 97 percent of its victims.

"He is in critical condition and every hour is a waiting game to determine if he will pull through," said his parents. 

Source: Medindia
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