A 13-year-old boy has been hospitalized after contracting Naegleria fowleri — a deadly brain-eating amoeba — after swimming in Florida.
Caleb Ziegelbauer caught the life-threatening infection while swimming at Port Charlotte Beach on July 1, according to a GoFundMe page.
Five days later, he complained of a headache that was then followed by a fever and disorientation.
He was rushed to a hospital where he was diagnosed with meningitis and placed in PICU, according to the page. Doctors later confirmed the amoeba was causing his illness.
“A lot of times people don’t get to the hospital quickly enough. We’re hoping that we did,” Caleb’s aunt, Katie Chiet, told NBC2.
“He’s just the kindest soul but he’s so strong. He’s so strong. Like the fighting on the outside, that’s what we’re doing,” another aunt, Elizabeth Ziegelbauer, told the NBC station. “He is fighting his little heart out on the inside.”
Chiet said Caleb was showing symptoms for a couple of days before the family realized it could be the water he was swimming in that caused the amoeba.
“He started to receive the CDC protocol to treat the amoeba on July 10,” Chiet wrote in the GoFundMe post.
“He required a brief period of sedation and intubation but has been breathing on his own for almost a full week now!” the update continued. “His MRI scan from 7/20 continues to show damage in his brain left by the amoeba but we remain hopeful that he’ll turn the corner soon and make his way back to us.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Naegleria fowleri is a rare disease that is almost always fatal, with only four out of 154 people in the US having survived the infection from 1962 to 2021.
It causes a rare and almost always fatal infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis.
What do you think? Be the first to comment.
People can become infected when water containing the amoeba enters the nose and migrates to the brain. Symptoms generally start one to nine days after exposure and many people die within 18 days of showing symptoms, according to the CDC.
Earlier this month, an Iowa freshwater beach was shut down when a Missouri woman who swam there became infected with the amoeba.
Barbie creator Jack Ryan lived cocaine-fueled life and once held daughters hostage
You won’t see this scene on the big screen. As Warner Brothers prepare to roll out the much-hyped “Barbie” movie, starring Margot Robbie, this summer, the real-life saga of the iconic doll’s creator is more of a horror story than…
District denies student’s claims in Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina school district said a ninth grader walking in a hallway was stopped during a moment of silence and not the Pledge of Allegiance, as the student had said in a lawsuit filed last…
The rudest cities in America, ranked according to a new Insider survey
Americans have a lot of opinions on where they think their rudest residents hail from. Stereotypes — or sports rivalries — often color these assumptions. In October and November, Insider and SurveyMonkey conducted a survey of more than 2,000 American…