A teenager is fighting for his life after contracting a brain-eating amoeba on a beach vacation with his family

sandy beach

File photo of a beach.Charles Davis/Insider

  • A teenage boy in Florida has been hospitalized with a brain-eating amoeba infection.

  • His family brought him to the emergency room when he was feverish and hallucinating.

  • Doctors believe he may have inhaled a dangerous amoeba while swimming at the beach.

A 13-year-old boy in Florida has been hospitalized with a brain-eating amoeba infection after a family trip to the beach, NBC2 reported.

The Ziegelbauer’s vacation took a turn about a week after visiting Port Charlotte Beach, when their son Caleb began experiencing symptoms severe enough that they brought him to the emergency room.

He developed a headache and fever first, his family told the local news affiliate. They contacted his pediatrician when his fever spiked at 105 degrees and he began experiencing neck pain consistent with meningitis. The next day, Ziegelbauer began to hallucinate, prompting an hour-long drive to the hospital.

The boy is now being treated for swelling of the brain in the intensive care unit at Golisano Children’s Hospital, according to a Facebook post from his aunt Katie Chiet.

Doctors believe that Ziegelbauer contracted a brain-eating-amoeba-infected-a-swimmer-in-iowa-lake-2022-7?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=yahoo.com” data-ylk=”slk:brain-eating amoeba” class=”link “brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri while swimming at the beach. The amoeba is known to access the human brain by entering the nose, but most cases are officially diagnosed after a patient has died.

Only four people in the US are known to have survived infections with N. fowleri, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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“A lot of times people don’t get to the hospital quickly enough,” Chiet said. “We’re hoping that we did.”

The amoeba infection may be confused with meningitis

Symptoms of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) typically appear within a week of exposure

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