Another case of brain-eating amoeba infection reported in Kerala; CM holds meeting on prevention

This is the fifth case of the rare brain infection reported in the state since May and all the patients are children, three of whom have already died.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 06, 2024 | 11:15 AM Updated Jul 06, 2024 | 11:15 AM

Naegleria fowleri infects people by entering the body through the nose, usually while swimming. The amoeba travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue and causes swelling of the brain. (Creative Commons)

Another case of amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare brain infection caused by a free-living amoeba found in contaminated waters, has been reported from Kerala.

A 14-year-old boy, a resident of Payyoli in Kozhikode, is afflicted with the disease, according to sources in the private hospital where he is being treated.

This is the fifth case of the rare brain infection reported in the state since May and all the patients are children, three of whom have already died.

In the latest case, one of the doctors treating the boy said that he was admitted to the hospital on 1 July, and his condition is improving.

The doctor said, on Saturday, 6 July, that the infection was identified quickly at the hospital and treatment, including medicines from abroad, was given immediately.

Also Read: Amoebic meningoencephalitis claims another life in Kozhikode; fourth case in Kerala

CM meeting on prevention

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday, 5 July, held a meeting in which several suggestions, including not to bathe in unclean waterbodies, were given to prevent further infections.

In the meeting, it was also suggested that there should be proper chlorination of swimming pools and children should be careful when entering waterbodies as they are mostly affected by this disease, the statement said.

In the meeting, also attended by state Health Minister Veena George and various senior government officials including Chief Secretary Dr Venu V, it was also suggested that there should be proper chlorination of swimming pools and children should be careful when entering water bodies as they are mostly affected by this disease, the statement said.

Using swimming nose clips to prevent infection by the free-living amoeba was also suggested in the meeting.

The chief minister also said that everyone should take care to keep the water bodies clean.

Medical experts said the infection occurs when free-living, non-parasitic amoebae bacteria enter the body through the nose from contaminated water.

Also Read: Brain-eating amoeba in Kerala: Health officials call it ‘very rare’

Previous cases

On Wednesday, 3 July, a 14-year-old boy infected with the free-living amoeba died in Kozhikode.

On 25 June it was confirmed that a 13-year-old girl, from Kannur, who succumbed at a private hospital in Kozhikode was infected with a rare variety of free-living amoeba.

The amoeba might have entered her body from a swimming pool that she accessed while on a tour from school on 28 January.

Before that, on 21 May, a five-year-old child who was undergoing treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, for amoebic meningoencephalitis also lost her life.

The child, a native of Kaliyattamukku in the Mooniyoor grama panchayath of the Malappuram district, is suspected to have been infected with the amoeba after she swam along with her relatives in the nearby Kadalundi River.

Health authorities on Friday, 28 June, reported that a 12-year-old boy from Irumooliparamabu, near Farook College, has been infected by the disease.

Amoebic meningoencephalitis is a rare brain infection that is caused by Naegleria fowleri.

(With PTI inputs)