Kerala: Five-year-old afflicted by rare brain infection caused by free-living amoebae

08:58 PM May 15, 2024 | PTI |

Malappuram (Kerala): A case of a rare brain infection caused by a free-living amoebae living in contaminated waters was reported in northern Malappuram district of Kerala on Wednesday, where a five-year-old boy has been found infected.


The boy, hailing from Moonniyur panchayat here, who is suffering from Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, has been admitted in Kozhikode Medical College and all possible medical care will be provided to him, Health Minister Veena George told reporters.

The other family members of the boy are also under surveillance, she said, adding that there is no specific medicine for this rare infection.

The minister said the boy and other family members had a bath in a nearby pond on May 1, and the boy started developing fever, headache and vomitting on May 10.

He was first taken to some private hospitals before being admitted to the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital on May 12, George said.


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

Medical experts said the human brain gets infected when free-living, non-parasitic amoebae bacteria enter the body through the nose.

The doctors have advised people to avoid having baths in contaminated water. The main symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, vomiting, and seizures.


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