Brain-eating amoeba kills teen after he went swimming in contaminated water — third death in 2 months

    Brain-eating amoeba kills teen after he went swimming in contaminated water — third death in 2 months

    A 14-year-old boy in India died Thursday from an infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba he contracted while swimming in contaminated water.

    The teen, named Midrul, had reportedly picked up the parasite while bathing in a pond in Kozhikode, Kerala, India Today reported. He was subsequently admitted to a local hospital on June 24 after contracting an infection.

    Despite medics’ best efforts, he succumbed to his symptoms, marking the third amoeba-related fatality in the region in less than two months.

    The other victims were a five-year-old girl from Malappuram on May 21, and a 13-year-old Kannur girl who passed on June 25, the Economic Times reported.

    Swimming hole in Kozhikode, Kerala.
    A swimming hole like the one the boy swam in in Kozhikode, Kerala. YouTube / Shafeeq Mankada

    Naegleria fowleri
    A 3D illustration of the infectious form of the parasite infectious form of the parasite Naegleria fowleri. Getty Images

    Midrul had reportedly been infected by Naegleria fowleri, the now-notorious brain-eating amoeba that swims up people’s noses and wreaks havoc upon their brains.

    He had specifically suffered from primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a catastrophic condition that causes the destruction of brain tissue and the swelling of the brain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    This microscopic scourge is found worldwide in warm freshwater bodies, including lakes, rivers and even poorly-maintained swimming pools. It cannot survive in saltwater nor can it be spread from person to person.

    Symptoms — which generally occur between one and 12 days after infection — initially comprise severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting before progressing to a stiff neck, seizures, and coma.

    The condition is fatal 97% of the time, with deaths usually occurring less than a week after the onset of initial symptoms.

    To date, there have been only five recorded survivors of PAM in North America.

    Unfortunately, contaminated water could become more prevalent due to climate change.

    Scientists claim that warming temperatures are creating ideal conditions for the amoeba to thrive in bodies of water across the northern US.

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