Brain-eating amoeba affects US boy
14 August 2013, 07:44
Florida - Health officials say a 12-year-old Florida boy is fighting a rare infection that is attacking his brain.
Family members have told media outlets that Zachary Reyna contracted Naegleria fowleri - an amoeba that causes deadly brain infections - while knee boarding with some friends in a ditch near his house in LaBelle on 3 August.
He is being treated in the intensive care unit at Miami Children's Hospital.
The single-celled organism is commonly found in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers.
The illness is extremely rare. About 120 US cases have been reported since the amoeba was identified in the early 1960s, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The victims typically are exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds or lakes.