In one of the more tragic cases America has seen, an 8 year old boy was killed by an extremely rare brain eating bacteria after a family vacation.
According to the Daily Mail, An eight-year-old boy from South Carolina passed away this week after contracting an extremely rare brain infection, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Identified as Blake Driggers by a Facebook commemorating the young boy, health officials stated that the child had contracted a deadly organism called Naegleria fowleri.
According to the Director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, Catherine Templeton told reporters that, “While this organism is present in many warm water lakes, rivers and streams in the South, infection in humans is extremely rare. Naegleria fowleri almost always results in death.”
While officials cannot release any information as it would be in violation of federal law, the Facebook page created in honor of Blake Driggers states that he passed away on Tuesday as a direct result of the infection. Friends and family have stated that Driggers first complained of a fever and headaches after his trip to the beach the weekend before. However, his family did not see any reason for concern at the time, as they assumed that he just had too much fun and got too much sun.
Unfortunately, by Sunday afternoon, all of that changed when Driggers became more lethargic and less responsive. His parents took him to the hospital, where by that evening; the doctor announced that his condition was very serious. After Driggers passed on Tuesday, the autopsy revealed his illness and death had been caused by the amoeba.
According to health officials, the amoeba is present in all bodies of fresh water, but poses a threat only when it enters the human organism in a particular way. Dr Kathleen Antonetti, a medical epidemiologist with the DHEC, states that “Water must be forced up the nose, through the nasal passages, so that the amoeba is able to travel up to the brain and destroy tissue.”
In order to prevent this infection, health officials advise against swimming in or jumping into bodies of freshwater when the water is warm and the water levels are low.
8 Year Old Boy was Killed by an Extremely Rare Brain Eating Bacteria.