facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Florida boy fighting rare, brain-eating amoeba

Aug. 13, 2013 at 3:49 PM   |   Comments

LABELLE, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A 12-year-old LaBelle, Fla., boy is fighting for his life after contracting a rare infection eating away at his brain, officials said.

Zachary Reyna, a seventh grader, was playing near a ditch Saturday and came home with what his mother thought was a 24-hour virus, WBBH-TV, Fort Myers, Fla., reported.

Within hours he underwent brain surgery at Miami Children's Hospital. He was diagnosed with primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM, caused by the amoeba Naeglaria Fowleri, or "brain-eating amoeba," found in still, warm water.

The amoeba enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain, destroying brain tissue, WBBH-TV said, noting only three people have ever survived the attack.

Zachary is in the hospital's intensive care unit.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 31 such infections were reported between 2002 and 2012.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
American photojournalist James Wright Foley executed by Islamic State
2
Brady Morton still missing after booze-soaked rafting trip
3
Mississippi woman says her son set a cross on fire at her house
4
Northrop Grumman developing reusable space plane for lifting spacecraft into orbit
5
Construction on Russian gas line to China slated for September
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback