Florida boy fights rare infection caused by amoeba (Update)

Health officials in Florida say a 12-year-old boy is fighting a rare and deadly infection that is attacking his brain.

Family members told media outlets that Zachary Reyna of Southwest Florida was infected with Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic single-celled living amoeba that is commonly found in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers. State health officials say it can cause a rare brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) that destroys brain tissue and is usually fatal.

Victims typically are exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds, lakes and rivers during the hot summer months, mostly in the South.

Family members said the boy was infected while knee boarding with friends in a ditch near his family's house on Aug. 3. He is being treated in the intensive care unit at Miami Children's Hospital.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Three dead in US from brain-killing amoeba

Aug 19, 2011

Three young Americans have died this year from a rare water-borne amoeba that swims up through the nose and infects the brain, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday.

Recommended for you

Syria hit by flesh-eating maggot disease

8 hours ago

Three cases of myiasis have been reported near Damascus, marking the first appearance of the flesh-eating maggot disease in Syria, UN health experts said Friday.

Sperm can carry Ebola for 82 days: WHO

10 hours ago

Sperm can carry the Ebola virus for at least 82 days, the World Health Organization said Friday, urging men recovering from the disease to use condoms for three months after the onset of symptoms.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.