Infection from brain-eating amoeba kills 5-year-old girl in Kerala


PTI, May 21, 2024, 11:23 AM IST

Malappuram (Kerala): A five-year-old girl afflicted by amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare brain infection caused by a free-living amoeba found in contaminated waters, in Malappuram district of Kerala died, official sources said on Tuesday.

The child hailing from Moonniyur panchayat here died on Monday night at the Kozhikode Medical College’s Institute of Maternal and Child Health, where she was undergoing treatment for over a week, they said.

According to medical experts, the infection is caused when free-living, non-parasitic amoebae bacteria enter the body through the nose from contaminated water.

The girl had taken bath in a nearby pond on May 1 and by May 10, and showed symptoms of fever, headache and vomiting, the sources said.

The child was on a ventilator and unresponsive to medication.

Other children who also took bath along with the girl in the same pond were under observation. However, they were discharged after being found to be free of infection, sources added.

The disease was earlier reported in coastal Alappuzha district in the state in 2023 and 2017.

The main symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, vomiting, and seizures.

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