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.

Related Stories

Three dead in US from brain-killing amoeba

date 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

US Ebola patient's condition improves: NIH

date 1 hour ago

An American healthcare worker in treatment after becoming infected with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has improved and is now in serious condition, the National Institutes of Health said Thursday.

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.