KOCHI: The 16-year-old boy who was recently diagnosed with amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare brain infection, died at a private hospital here at 10 pm on Thursday.
Akbar, a native of Pallathuruthy in Alappuzha, was a Plus-I student at Thiruvambady Higher Secondary School. Son of Nawas and Raseena, Akbar is survived by a brother who is studying in Class-VII. The funeral will be held at the Alappuzha Maasan mosque at 3 pm on Friday.
“Akbar developed fever and headache last Saturday, and was first admitted to the Alappuzha General Hospital and then to the Medical College. Since doctors at the Medical College could not diagnose the condition, we took him to Aster Medcity in Kochi. He had been in coma for the last two days,” said a relative. “The infection was diagnosed through a cerebrospinal fluid test. The condition is so rare that only around ten such cases have been reported so far. The amoeba entered the boy’s body through nasal cavity when he was taking bath in the river. It entered his central nervous system and damaged the brain,” said Dr Anup Warrier, physician in charge of the infection control, adding that the diagnosis is difficult as the amoeba will be visible only in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), that also for just a few minutes after taken out of the body. The infection is caused by Naegleria Fowleri, a free-living amoeba found in freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers. It enters the brain through the nose, and the infection leads to brain death.