Rare Disease Alert: Amoebic Meningoencephalitis Strikes Five-Year-Old in Kerala

A recent case has surfaced in Malappuram, Kerala, where a five-year-old girl was hospitalized at Government Medical College, Kozhikode, diagnosed with the rare condition known as Amoebic meningoencephalitis (Amoebic Masthishkajwaram). This disease, caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, poses a significant threat as it destroys brain tissues upon entering the body through the nasal passage, often leading to fatal consequences.

It is suspected that the young girl contracted the infection while bathing in a nearby river, where the amoeba is commonly found. Symptoms of Amoebic meningoencephalitis include fever, vomiting, stiff neck, headache, hallucinations, and seizures. Unfortunately, survival rates are low, with only a few reported cases of recovery.

In light of this alarming incident, it’s imperative to take preventative measures to avoid exposure to the amoeba:

Avoid swimming or bathing in warm freshwater bodies, particularly those that are inadequately cleaned or chlorinated, especially during the summer months.

If exposure cannot be avoided, use nose clips or manually seal the nasal passage to prevent the entry of water.

Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms suggestive of the infection manifest, as early intervention is crucial for recovery.

Educate oneself about water bodies with good water quality and adhere to local health advisories to minimize the risk of infection.

This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of water safety and awareness in preventing rare but potentially life-threatening diseases like Amoebic meningoencephalitis.

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