A 12-Year-Old Boy Is Fighting for His Life After Being Infected by a ‘Brain-Eating’ Amoeba

A 12-year-old Florida boy named Zachary Reyna has been hospitalized after being infected by Naegleria fowleri—a rare amoeba that feeds on brain matter. Zachary has what’s called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a very serious infection caused by the amoeba. His family took him to the hospital last weekend when Zachary started showing flu-like symptoms, but doctors soon learned how severe his state was. The effects of PAM on the individuals who contract the amoeba are tragic,” said Dr. Carina Blackmore, a Florida Department of Health state epidemiologist. Zachary’s family (who has set up a Facebook page for him) believe that he may have contacted the amoeba while playing in a canal, as Naegleria fowleri frequent warm, low water-level lakes and streams.

“Doctors are saying things have not changed,” the Reyna’s most recent Facebook update reads “We are still strong on our end because we know God will step in when He is ready. Keep praying. I feel this is much bigger than my Zac” …

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