In a distressing incident in the Alappuzha district in Kerala, India, a 15-year-old boy recently succumbed to a rare brain infection known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naegleria fowleri, also known as ‘brain-eating amoeba’. Despite seeking medical assistance at a local clinic a week prior to his demise, the boy’s condition rapidly deteriorated, and he was diagnosed with the infection at the medical college hospital. PAM poses a significant threat to human health due to its alarming fatality rate and is not transmissible from person to person. The boy likely contracted the infection while bathing in a nearby stream close to his home, as Naegleria fowleri thrives in warm water habitats.

Brain-eating amoeba is a rare and deadly single-celled organism found in warm freshwater environments. The amoeba enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain, causing inflammation and destruction of brain tissue. Symptoms of PAM include severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, and altered mental status, and the prognosis remains unfavorable due to the limited effectiveness of available treatments. Taking preventive measures, such as avoiding warm freshwater activities and using nose plugs, is crucial to minimizing the risk of infection for people of all ages.

Brain-eating amoeba: Know all about the rare disease that killed a 15-year-old boy – Detail Points

– A 15-year-old boy in Kerala, India, succumbed to PAM, a rare brain infection caused by Naegleria fowleri
– The boy initially developed a fever and sought medical assistance at a local clinic, but his condition deteriorated rapidly
– PAM poses a significant threat to human health due to its alarming fatality rate
– Kerala has encountered five cases of PAM caused by Naegleria fowleri between 2016 and 2022
– The boy likely caught the infection from bathing in a nearby stream where the amoeba thrived
– Brain-eating amoeba is found in warm freshwater environments and enters the body through the nose
– Symptoms of brain-eating amoeba infection include severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, and altered mental status
– PAM infections caused by Naegleria fowleri are extremely rare, particularly in children
– Treatment involves antifungal and antimicrobial medications, but the prognosis remains unfavorable due to the aggressive nature of the infection

Brain-eating amoeba: Know all about the rare disease that killed a 15-year-old boy – FAQ’s

How did the 15-year-old boy catch the PAM infection?

The 15-year-old boy likely caught the primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) infection, caused by Naegleria fowleri, from regularly bathing in a nearby stream close to his home. Naegleria fowleri is known to thrive in warm water habitats and can enter the body through the nose, typically while swimming or diving.

What is brain-eating amoeba?

Brain-eating amoeba is a rare and deadly single-celled organism that can cause a severe brain infection called PAM. It is found in warm freshwater environments such as lakes, hot springs, and poorly maintained swimming pools. The amoeba enters the body through the nose, typically while swimming or diving, and travels to the brain, causing inflammation and destruction of brain tissue.

Symptoms of brain-eating amoeba

Once the brain-eating amoeba infects the central nervous system, it can lead to symptoms such as severe headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, and altered mental status. The infection progresses rapidly and can be fatal within a matter of days.

Is PAM infection common among children?

No, PAM caused by Naegleria fowleri is extremely rare overall, and it is not common among children specifically. Infection occurs primarily through activities involving warm freshwater environments, such as swimming or diving. Taking appropriate preventive measures, such as avoiding warm freshwater activities or using nose plugs, can significantly reduce the risk of infection for people of all ages.

Treatment for brain-eating amoeba

The treatment of brain-eating amoeba, specifically Naegleria fowleri, is complex and challenging. Early detection and prompt intervention are crucial for improving the chances of survival. Currently, treatment approaches primarily involve the use of antifungal and antimicrobial medications, such as amphotericin B, in combination with other supportive therapies. However, due to the aggressive nature of the infection and the limited effectiveness of available treatments, the prognosis remains unfavorable.

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