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Kerala reports fourth case of rare fatal brain-eating amoeba infection | Everything You Need to Know

Once infected, symptoms can appear within one to nine days and include severe headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Jasleen Kaur -- July 06th 2024 12:22 PM
Kerala reports fourth case of rare fatal brain-eating amoeba infection | Everything You Need to Know

Kerala reports fourth case of rare fatal brain-eating amoeba infection | Everything You Need to Know

PTC Web Desk: Kerala has reported another case of amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare and often fatal brain infection caused by a free-living amoeba commonly found in contaminated waters. This brings the total number of cases in the state to four since May.

The latest patient, a 14-year-old boy from Payyoli in Kozhikode district, is currently being treated at a private hospital. He was admitted on July 1, and according to doctors, his condition is improving. The infection was quickly identified and treated with medications, including some sourced from abroad.


Amoebic meningoencephalitis is a severe infection of the brain caused by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that thrives in warm, freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs. It can also be found in poorly maintained swimming pools and contaminated tap water. The infection typically occurs when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, allowing the amoeba to travel to the brain.

Once infected, symptoms can appear within one to nine days and include severe headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck. As the disease progresses, it can lead to confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. The infection progresses rapidly and is often fatal, with a high mortality rate.


The current case follows the deaths of three other minors in Kerala due to the same infection. A 14-year-old boy passed away on July 3, a five-year-old girl from Malappuram died on May 21, and a 13-year-old girl from Kannur succumbed to the infection on June 25.

In response to these cases, Kerala's Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged residents to avoid bathing in unclean waterbodies and emphasised the importance of proper chlorination in swimming pools. He also advised that children should be particularly cautious when entering waterbodies, as they are most at risk.

Ensuring the cleanliness of waterbodies and practicing safe swimming habits are crucial measures to prevent further infections.

- With inputs from agencies

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