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7-year-old dies from rare brain-eating amoeba tied to California lake

A toddler contaminated with a particularly rare brain-eating amoeba whereas swimming in a Northern California lake died in a hospital, his household confirmed Friday. David Pruitt, 7, of Tehama County, died from main amoebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM, on August 7, mentioned his aunt, Crystal Hayley.

The boy was rushed to the emergency room on July 30 after which flown to UC Davis Medical Center the place he was on life help with extreme brain swelling, Hayley mentioned in a fundraising web site she created for the household to increase funds for his care and funeral.

The an infection is extraordinarily rare, and there have solely been 10 instances reported in California since 1971, the Tehama County Health Services Agency mentioned in an August 4 information launch. It mentioned the boy was probably contaminated in a lake in Tehama County however did not determine the boy or say the place he obtained contaminated.

Tehama County public well being officers didn’t return phone messages from The Associated Press in search of remark.

His dad and mom declined an interview request from The Associated Press. But Hayley mentioned “they want people to be aware of this amoeba and the illness signs.”

The parasite, referred to as Naegleria fowleri, often infects individuals when contaminated water enters their physique via the nostril, in accordance to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Infection usually happens when individuals go swimming or diving in heat freshwater locations, like lakes and rivers. In rare situations, individuals can get contaminated if heat water from a swimming pool that has not been adequately handled with chlorine enters the nostril, the CDC mentioned on its web page concerning the an infection.

“Once the ameba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM, which is usually fatal,” it mentioned.

In the primary stage of an infection, sufferers report having a extreme headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. As the an infection worsens, they’ll develop a stiff neck and expertise seizures or hallucinations, in accordance to the CDC.