On Sunday’s Outbreak News This Week Radio Show, I continued my look at the free-living amoeba and amoeba awareness (Last week was Amoeba awareness: Naegleria fowleri).
A story that caught my eye was of one of a young lady from California who contracted the rarely encountered parasite, Balamuthia mandrillaris in March 2013.
Her name is Koral Reef Meister Pier and she lost her battle against the 95% fatal amoeba in Oct. 2014.
I had the opportunity and honor to talk to her mother, Sybil Meister and family friend, Ebony Parker about Koral’s life and her Balamuthia infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Balamuthia infection is very rare but often causes fatal disease. Since Balamuthia was first discovered in 1986, about 200 cases of infection have been reported worldwide. This number includes at least 70 confirmed cases in the United States.
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