Florida teen reportedly contracts ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after swimming


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A Florida boy is alleged to have been hospitalized for contracting brain-eating amoeba in any other case referred to as, Naegleria fowleri – a probably lethal parasite that assaults mind tissue – after he swam at a neighborhood seashore.

Caleb Ziegelbauer, 13, had visited Port Charlotte Seashore Park along with his household in early July, based on a GoFundMe his aunts – Katie Chiet and Elizabeth Ziegelbaur – not too long ago launched.

5 days after his go to Caleb reported having a headache and a day later he had a fever, the submit stated.

He was reportedly taken to the Golisano Kids’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in Ft. Myers on Saturday, July 9.


Florida Division of Well being in Charlotte County instructed Every day Submit Digital that as of July 26, there are not any confirmed optimistic instances of amoeba Naegleria fowleri in Charlotte County the place Caleb was stated to be swimming.

Naegleria fowleri (commonly referred to as the

Naegleria fowleri (generally known as the “brain-eating amoeba” or “brain-eating ameba”), is a free-living microscopic ameba*, (single-celled dwelling organism). It might trigger a uncommon** and devastating an infection of the mind referred to as main amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).
(Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC))

Chiet and Ziegelbaur wrote that Caleb was initially identified with meningitis – which shares similarities with amoeba Naegleria fowleri – however later docs found he had contracted the “brain-eating” amoebae, the submit alleged.

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Caleb was positioned within the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit, based on his aunts.

Every day Submit Digital reached out to media representatives at Lee Well being – the healthcare system that operates the Golisano Kids’s Hospital of Southwest Florida – for remark.

The hospital declined to remark on account of HIPAA.

Caleb started protocol therapy set by the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) for amoeba Naegleria fowleri on Sunday, July 10, which concerned sedation and intubation, Caleb’s aunts shared on the GoFundMe web page.

“[He] has been breathing on his own for almost a full week now,” Chiet and Ziegelbaur wrote on GoFundMe. “His MRI scan from 7/20 continues to show damage in his brain but we remain hopeful that he’ll turn the corner soon and make his way back to us.”


Caleb’s dad and mom, brother and sister are stated to be “safe” and seem to not have contracted the parasite.

By Sunday, July 24, Caleb reportedly obtained a chest x-ray and a unit of blood, based on a GoFundMe standing replace. He seems to nonetheless be present process care. 

There are no rapid tests for amoeba Naegleria fowleri, according to the CDC. The amoeba can enter the body through the nose and attack brain tissue.

There are not any speedy assessments for amoeba Naegleria fowleri, based on the CDC. The amoeba can enter the physique by means of the nostril and assault mind tissue.

Every day Submit Digital reached out to Chiet and Ziegelbaur for remark.

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Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba that’s generally present in heat recent water and soil, based on the CDC.

People sometimes contract it after swimming or diving in lakes, rivers and sizzling spring, based on the CDC. Improperly chlorinated swimming pools can be a offender, although it’s not as frequent.


An amoeba thrives in heat temperatures (as much as 115 levels Fahrenheit) and enters the physique by means of the nostril when an individual’s head is submerged within the water. 

Since Naegleria fowleri eats different organisms like micro organism, an amoeba can assault mind tissue if it’s not detected in time.

“Initial symptoms of [Naegleria fowleri] start about 5 days (range 1 to 12 days) after infection,” the CDC says. “The initial symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting. Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations.”

Headaches are a common symptom of amoeba Naegleria fowleri, a ‘brain-eating’ parasite.

Complications are a typical symptom of amoeba Naegleria fowleri, a ‘brain-eating’ parasite.

The CDC continued, “After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within about 5 days (range 1 to 18 days).”

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The well being company notes that “Naegleria fowleri occurrence is common, infections are rare,” however leisure water customers ought to assume that it’s current in heat freshwater all through the nation.

Out of 154 documented instances of Naegleria fowleri within the U.S., amoeba has a fatality fee that’s over 97%, based on the CDC.

Chiet and Ziegelbaur wrote that the household stays hopeful that Caleb can combat the an infection. They began the GoFundMe to “take some burden off” his dad and mom, who stay at his bedside.

Every day Submit Digital reached out to Charlotte County for touch upon the presence of Naegleria fowleri in Port Charlotte Seashore Park waters.

Amoeba Naegleria fowleri is often found in warm bodies of water.

Amoeba Naegleria fowleri is commonly present in heat our bodies of water.

The CDC says individuals can restrict their likelihood of contracting Naegleria fowleri by avoiding heat freshwater, swimming above water if it could’t be prevented and carrying a nostril clip or holding their nostril shut whereas swimming.


Individuals also needs to keep away from digging in or stirring up sediment in watery areas.


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