7-Year-Old Boy Dies From Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba

A child infected with an extremely rare brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a Tehama County lake died in a hospital, his family has confirmed. Seven-year-old David Pruitt died from Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis, or PAM, on August 7th,  according to his aunt, Crystal Hayley. She says the boy was rushed to the emergency room on July 30 and then flown to UC Davis Medical Center where he was on life support with severe brain swelling. Tehama County Health Services Agency says the infection is extremely rare, and there have only been 10 cases reported in California since 1971. It occurs when someone swims in water containing the Amoeba Naegleria Fowleri and water goes up the nose forcefully. It can then migrate to the brain and destroy brain tissue. That’s the only way the infection occurs, not by swallowing the water. Symptoms including severe headache, fever, nausea or vomiting. Tehama County officials have not said what the body of water was where the child picked up the infection.