Teen girl dies of amoebic meningoencephalitis in Kozhikode, second case in Kerala within 2 months


Kozhikode: Amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare disease claimed one more life in the state as a 13-year-old girl diagnosed with the disease breathed her last at a private hospital here on Tuesday. The deceased is Dakshina (13), daughter of Kannur native Ragesh Babu and Dhanya. 

According to reports, the girl developed symptoms of the infection nearly three months after taking a study trip to Munnar. The girl had taken a bath in a swimming pool in Munnar. Hence, it is suspected that she contracted the amoebic infection from the pool water. 

Usually, when the amoeba enters a person's body, symptoms will develop within five days and health conditions will deteriorate soon. But Dakshina who visited Munnar on January 28, developed the symptoms only on May 8.

Dakshina was rushed to a private hospital in Kannur after suffering from severe headache and vomiting. As her condition became worse, she was shifted to Baby Memorial Hospital in Kozhikode.The rare disease was confirmed after CSF analysis. The test revealed the presence of a rare amoeba called vermamoeba vermiformis in her body. According to doctors, Dakshina's case was different from the previous cases reported in the state as amoebic trophozoites were detected in her body.

In May, a five-year-old girl from Malappuram died of amoebic meningoencephalitis. Fadwa PP, daughter of P P Hassan Koya and Fasna from Munniyoor in Malappuram breathed her last while undergoing treatment at Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital.

What is Amoebic meningoencephalitis?
Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, also known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) or amoebic meningitis, is an extremely rare but fatal infection of the brain caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri. Usually, children and young adults who are exposed to contaminated water contract this infection. Symptoms of primary amebic meningoencephalitis begin within 1 to 2 weeks of exposure to contaminated water. Loss of smell, headache, a stiff neck, sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting are the major symptoms. Some patients also complain of disorientation, drowsiness and seizures.

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