Kerala Teen Dies of Brain Eating Amoeba, What Naegleria fowleri 2024

Brain Eating Amoeba, What Naegleria
Kerala Teen Dies of Brain Eating Amoeba, What Naegleria fowleri 2024

A 14-year-old boy in Kozhikode, Kerala died of amoebic meningoencephalitis on Wednesday night, following two other deaths related to Naegleria fowleri within the state over the last two months. On June 24th, he was admitted to a hospital after experiencing severe headache, nausea and vomiting with possible exposure being a stream near his house.

What is Naegleria fowleri?

Naegleria fowleri is commonly known as brain eating amoeba and it is one celled organism that survives well in warm freshwater bodies like lakes rivers and hot springs. It can also be found in dirty swimming pools. These infections are infrequent but fatal when they occur.

How Does Infection Occur?

The infection occurs through water containing Naegleria fowleri entering the body through nostrils which allows the amoeba to reach the brain through olfactory nerves. However ingesting contaminated water does not lead to infection.

Symptoms and Progression

Symptoms of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), an ailment caused by Naegleria fowleri normally appear within two to 15 days after exposure. The early symptoms often resemble those for bacterial or viral meningitis including intense headache, high temperature, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting. Eventually patients may experience confusion disorientation seizures unsteady motions and coma.

Treatment and Prognosis

PAM is a rapidly progressive difficult-to-diagnose illness. Unfortunately there is high mortality rate where by 97% of cases die from it; nevertheless some survivors have been treated with several drugs including amphotericin B plus rifampin fluconazole miltefosine across Northern America.

Prevention is Key

  • Prevention is essential because PAM has such a high mortality rate. Here are tips:
  • Do not swim, dive or play in warm freshwater especially during summer.
  • Plug the nose or hold it closed when jumping feet first into water.
  • Do not stir up sediment while wading in shallow warm freshwater areas.
  • Ensure that boiled water is used for sinus irrigation and nasal rinsing.

Also Read – 2024 Gupt Navratri, Ashadh Gupt Navratri 2024 Muhurat, Gupt Navratri starts from today

Increased Awareness and Vigilance

These recent deaths in Kerala have raised concerns and led to more knowledge of Naegleria fowleri. Health professionals are recommending preventive measures and caution about dangers around warm freshwater sources.

Even though there is a real threat of Naegleria fowleri, it must be stressed that it is rare. The risk of contracting this dangerous amoeba may however be reduced by taking the necessary precautions and being observant of symptoms.