PRIMARY AMOEBIC MENINGOENCEPHALITIS (Syllabus GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     8th July 2024        
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Context: In the past two months, Kerala has reported four cases of the rare but deadly primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), resulting in three deaths.

Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM)

  • About: It is caused by Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that thrives in warm freshwater environments such as lakes, ponds, and rivers.
  • Also Known as: Brain Eating Amoeba, because it can cause a brain infection when water containing the amoeba goes up the nose.
  • Causes of Increased Risk: Experts suggest that warming of the atmosphere and stagnant, unhygienic water sources are conditions that promote the infection.

oThe amoeba is more active in warm water.

  • Symptoms: Headache, fever, Nausea, or Vomiting.

oLater Symptoms: Stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, seizures, hallucinations, and coma.

  • Vulnerability: Recent cases indicate that children are more vulnerable to the infection.
  • Non-Contagious Nature: The infection does not spread from person to person, nor does swallowing water containing the amoeba cause the infection.
  • Treatment: Combination of drugs, often including amphotericin B, azithromycin, fluconazole, rifampin, miltefosine, and dexamethasone.
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