Caleb, 13, is infected with a ‘brain-eating’ amoeba on a Florida beach


  • Caleb Ziegelbauer, a 13-year-old miner, is hospitalized after being infected with a “brain-eating” amoeba on a beach in Florida, USA.


  • The minor required a brief period of sedation and intubation in hospital after being admitted with the first symptoms


  • A microscopic single-celled amoeba can cause a rare and life-threatening brain infection

Caleb Ziegelbauera minor under the age of 13, is admitted to Golisiano Children’s Hospital in the United Stateswhere he fights for his life after be infected with the amoeba Naegleria fowlericommonly called amoeba ‘beginnings’in florida beach. This is the second known case this July, after health authorities warned of another infection. In this case, a man bathing in the waters of ‘Lago de los Tres Fuegos’ state parkin the state of Iowa (USA) and which are now prohibited for swimming.

The miner was infected in Port Charlotte, Florida

On July 1, the minor went to the Port Charlotte beach with her family. Five days later, he goes to the emergency room with headache, fever and disorientationas published by his family in a fundraising page.

On July 10, the miner started receive CDC protocol treat the amoeba and to this day remains joined. Her last MRI, from July 20, “continues to show damage to her brain left by the amoeba,” said her aunt, who reported that her family hopes they got to the hospital in time. “He needed a brief period of sedation and intubation, but he’s been breathing on his own for almost a full week,” he explains.

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The ‘brain-eating’ amoeba: what it is, how you can get infected and what are the symptoms

The unicellular microscopic amoeba can cause a rare brain infection life-threatening condition called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (MAP). It is a disease that it’s not contagious and what “extremely rare” with very few cases detected.

He is infections are usually given in warm fresh water, as in lakes, rivers, ponds or beaches. The body is infected with nostrils up the brainwhich causes the appearance of severe migraines, hyperthermia, torticollis and vomiting, as well as dizziness, lethargy, confusion and hallucinations.

It is a disease that progresses rapidly and usually ends up causing died after five days from the onset of symptoms. Thus, before the appearance of the first symptoms, it is essential go to a medical center as soon as possible if you have been in fresh water.

How to Prevent Infections

To avoid contagion, as the Iowa Department of Health already pointed out after a man was infected in early July, it is necessary, among other things, to maintain closed nose con nose clipKeep your head above water avoid activities in lakes or rivers during periods of high temperature in water and avoid digging or removing sediment in shallow areas of warm fresh water.

It should be noted that heat is the perfect ally of the amoeba since its presence increases during the summer months, when the water presents the ideal conditions for its development. In addition, a risk factor is agethe most vulnerable being children and young people. These have more possibilities get infected because they tend to spend more time in water.

Only one case recorded in Spain

In Spainthere is only evidence of A case which, in 2018, forced the closure an indoor swimming pool in Toledo after what a girl will be infected with the brain-eating amoeba. Rapid intervention by health services managed to save his life of the miner who had to undergo strong intravenous antibiotic and fungicide treatment. In 2019, this pool was closed again for the same reason, with no reported cases.

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