Brain-Eating Warning Issued In Florida

    August 15, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

As a 12-year old boy fights for his life in Miami, the Florida Department of Health has issued a warning to anyone who might come in contact with warm freshwater.

Zachary Reyna is the second child in several weeks to suffer from the deadly parasite known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis; the first was 12-year old Kali Hardig, an Arkansas girl. Hardig spent several weeks in intensive care after contracting the parasite at a water park but is now in rehab after receiving an experimental anti-amoeba drug. Now, Reyna’s parents hope the same drug will help him recover.

The Reyna family says Zachary was knee-boarding in shallow water with some friends on August 3; the next day, he slept the afternoon away. Because it was so out of the ordinary for him to rest that much, his parents took him to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with the illness. He has since had brain surgery, and now his family waits to see if the medicine will work.

The Arkansas water park where Kali likely contracted the parasite has been shut down for the time being, because a previous case of the illness was reported there in 2010.

“Based on the occurrence of two cases of this rare infection in association with the same body of water and the unique features of the park, the ADH has asked the owner of Willow Springs to voluntarily close the water park to ensure the health and safety of the public,” the health department said.

Florida officials say that high water temperatures and low levels are breeding grounds for the amoeba and that the best way to avoid it are to stay away from swimming in freshwater during those times. If it can’t be avoided, they say, use nose plugs to keep the water out. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck, according to the CDC.

“Later symptoms include confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations,” the CDC says. “After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within one to 12 days.”

A similar infection caused Aimee Copeland to lose both hands, a leg and a foot last year after she cut herself while ziplining over a Georgia lake. Bacteria from the water got into her wound and spread rapidly, but doctors were able to save her life.

  • N

    Please double check your “facts” Amanda; an amoeba and a bacteria do not cause “similar infections”. The cause of the infection in this story is most likely from naegleria fowleri, which does in fact cause a form of encephalitis as it destroys the CNS. It is found only in fresh water. However, in the case of Aimee Copeland the cause was most likely the bacteria s. pyogenes, a bacteria that many times exists on the skin and can live in many different environments.

    Different pathogens, different routes of infection, different morbidity and different means of treatment. Saying they are similar is a poor choice of phrasing.

    • Jerry Cohen

      “N” That is most likely correct.

  • Mark

    It’s already invaded the White House.

  • stephanie c

    Probably came to Florida from Haiti carried by Haitian Nation. I will be surprised if it is not!

    • andy

      anything in particular tha
      t makes you think that, oh besides racism

    • JoniD

      Then you better prepare yourself you’re about to be shocked beyond all your prior ignorance! Might want to take that white sheet out from under the bed that you cut the eyes out of and put it on to hide your shock.

  • shekel_trader

    I can think of about 400 members of Congress that could use this amoeba. Anything to “smarten” them up.

  • http://WooWoo Pete

    You suck N!

  • cjw

    Thank God the headline was misleading! I was worried that there was something wrong with eating brains!

    • momma C

      ROFL now that was worth scrolling for cjw

  • linda soter

    I guess Florida is just filled with Illegals and criminals that just free everything. I don’t have to read the rest of this article. Why can’t the illegals go back and make a better country for themselves and their kids and come here and get free everything, the government wants legals to suffer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • andy

      Wow this article has absolutely ZERO to do with immigrants. Your refusal to read the rest of the article only further proves your ignorance.

    • JS

      Are you on drugs????

    • JoniD

      Linda – Aside from the fact that your claims have NOTHING to do with the article subject, what is your mental health condition. is it ASPD?(Anti Social Personality Disorder?) and what cocktail of meds are you on?? You can’t seem to focus on a single thing and babble about water, coffee and leaving kids in cars… its as if you’re living on another planet. You’re definitely high on something.

      What makes you think Florida is “filled with illegals and criminals”. Are you from there or do you have some experience with their legal system? Where or specifically what demographics are these criminals and what crimes are they committing?

      I assume when you said: “that just free everything” you meant they get everything free? So tell me what process does your mind go through to come to these conclusions?
      and where is the statistical data? you mention nothing about where you got your info.

      If you want to complain about something you need to have some substance behind the accusations or at least know what you’re talking about. e.g. what country are these “illegals” from? What are they getting free? proper English goes a long way. Or at least put a cohesive sentence down. If you continue to talk like an uneducated buffoon then you will continue to hear laughter as you leave a room.

      I find that the ones who whine & complain the most are the ones who are actually guilty of their complaints. Seeing as you can’t speak like a person who made it past 8th grade you probably don’t have a job and are on some kind of assistance. Normally nothing to be ashamed of but in your case its highly hypocritical. Clearly you have mental issues and you’re probably being over-medicated by your doctor.

    • wanda

      What does that have to do with sick children, and water parks, I think you need to vent your anger somewhere that it actually matters

  • linda soter

    Where do you think your bottled water comes from? What happened to boiling over 220 degrees to kill all the germs? The cost of bottled water is up 4000% in the market place. If you people are thet smart about germs, boil it to over 220 and kill the germs, I bet you buy coffee less them that temp or you will just leave your kids in the car and drink iced!!!!

    • Rockets

      My god, you sound like an idiot. Iced coffee is dangerous? LOL

    • Roni

      What the heck are you talking about..

    • JoniD

      Linda could you please make some sense? You start out with a cryptic question about where our bottled water comes from then its about boiling to a degree to kill germs. Then its suddenly about a 4000% cost percentage…back to boiling then some bizarre nonsense about leaving your kids in the car to drink coffee at an unnamed temperature or drink ice coffee…HUH? Did you take English as a foreign subject in high school? You’re all over the place not making one bit of sense. Is this fun for you or are you truly DAFT????

      • Jay

        NAEGLERIA FOWLERI is a bad bug! Poor kids hope they pull through.

    • cherring

      What the h&!# are you talking about??? Also, learn to spell.

  • C H

    It’s Kali Hardig, not Harding. Multiple articles out there have this right, no idea why Crum insists on spelling it wrong (or not fact checking).

    • JoniD

      the first was 12-year old Kali Hardig, an Arkansas girl. Hardig spent several weeks in intensive care after contracting the parasite at a water park but is now in rehab after receiving an experimental anti-amoeba drug.

      This is a quote from the article above. She did in fact spell the name correctly.

    • C H is dum b

      Well instead of caring more on the spelling why not care about the actual article…. seriously here commenting about spelling rather than worrying about this thing and trying to help boast awareness… go back to class to teach not the internet fuul(speeled incorrectly on purpose before you go crazy on the internet)

  • Carol

    When I was living in Central America (Panama, Canal Zone) I was playing around a manhole and I went across it to get my twin sister and the top of the manhole was removed and I didn’t see it because of the cut grass.

    I ended falling five (5) straight down into dirty water but on the way down all of my clothes were peeled off because I was falling against the wall of the manhole. I was only three (3) at the time and the water slashed into my rectum and there was amoebas in the water.

    After a while my mother noticed when I would eat I would bend in pain so the doctor noticed the worms in my bowl movements so they had to inject stricknine (sp)poison into me very slowly it would kill the worm and not me it took a year every Saturday and it burned. But meanwhile I suffered badly but there was no way other than that to kill the worm.

    I became very skinny because when I would eat the worms would eat my food so I know what those worms are like first hand and they are horrible.

    I have this boy in thoughts and prayers everyday and I hope he comes back as he was before the worms.

    May GOD give the family and friends the strength to go through this really tough tome now and for all time to come as I am certain HE will!!!

  • Now Ledge

    There is a simple product called MMS that cures malaria in one day, will probably work on this also. The gov’t is busy banning it, so it must work.