On Tuesday, this website reported on a Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) case in the Houston area that has hospitalized a 14-year-old boy. Today, in response to this and another case of Naegleria fowleri (a free-living amoeba that causes PAM), the Texas Department of State Health Services issued information for the public on this dangerous parasite and a health advisory for area medical providers.
The two cases state health officials include 14-year-old Michael John Riley Jr. and a Houston girl who contracted the amoeba three weeks prior.
The status of Michael was update earlier this evening:
Michael is still in critically stable condition but is struggling during this fight for his life. Our sweet boy did not respond well this morning during a number of tests. We have more tests coming this evening and our prayer warriors from all of the world are down on their knees praying God’s will be done. In Jesus name! Please continue to send positive thoughts, prayers, and love this evening.
The two Houston children are the first Naegleria fowleri cases reported in Texas since 2013. From 2005 to 2014, six cases were reported in the Lone Star state.
Texas health officials offer the following trends concerning PAM:
- From 1984 – 2013 (30 years) there were 28 cases of PAM reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services – average incidence of 0.93 cases per year, just under one case per year.
- Most of cases occurred in young males 9-12 year of age with a history of recent exposure to freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers during the warm summer months.
- No Texas cases have been linked to nasal irrigation or sinus flushes
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today
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