Amoebic meningitis: Fifth case in Kerala, 12-year-old boy in Thrissur on path to recovery

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Thrissur: A fresh case of amoebic meningitis has been reported in Kerala. A 12-year-old boy from Padoor in Thrissur district has been diagnosed with the infection. The condition of the class 7 student, who was on ventilator support for several days in June, has improved now, said the Thrissur District Medical Officer.

According to the DMO, the boy contracted a less severe strain of the amoeba. In the last two months, five cases of amoebic meningitis have been confirmed in children in Kerala, with the other four reported in the northern districts of Kozhikode, Kannur and Malappuram. A 12-year-old boy from Feroke in Kozhikode, a five-year-old boy from Munniyoor, Malappuram, and a 13-year-old girl from Thottada in Kannur died after contracting the infection.

The boy in Padoor first sought treatment for fever at a primary health centre on June 1 and was later admitted to a private medical college in Thrissur. The boy was transferred to the Government Medical College Hospital in Thrissur as his condition worsened. The boy’s cerebrospinal fluid sample that was sent for testing in Puducherry confirmed the presence of Vermamoeba Vermiformis, a free-living amoeba.

The boy was placed on ventilator support after his condition further worsened and on June 16, he was transferred to the Amrita Hospital. Further tests also confirmed the presence of amoeba in the boy’s system. The boy began breathing with the aid of a ventilator two weeks ago and has since been moved out of the ICU.
The doctors are hopeful the boy will restore normal movement in his legs after physiotherapy sessions.

Source of infection unclear
Meanwhile, the authorities are yet to ascertain the source of amoebic meningitis in Padoor, which is the first case of the infection reported in Thrissur district. The boy said he did not swim in a pond or a river recently. All the other infections reported in north Kerala were contracted by children who ventured into water bodies. The boy used to play football regularly in a field near his house.

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