Teen Survives Brain-Eating Amoeba | NBC Southern California
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Teen Survives Brain-Eating Amoeba

A 16-year-old boy is just one of four people in the U.S. known to survive the amoeba infection in the past 50 years

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    A 16-year-old boy from Florida is one of only four people known to survive a brain eating amoeba infection in the United States in the last 50 years. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016)

    A Florida teenager has beaten the odds, surviving an infection of a rare amoeba that kills nearly all of its victims.

    Two and a half weeks ago 16-year-old Sebastian Deleon developed a headache so severe he couldn't stand anyone touching him, NBC News Channel reports.

    Doctors at Orlando's Florida Hospital for Children realized Deleon had been infected with a brain-eating amoeba. The outlook was grim.

    Deleon is just one of four people in the United States known to survive an infection of this microscopic amoeba in the past 50 years.

    The amoeba lives in warm, fresh water and only infects people when water is forced up the nose. The amoeba can travel up the nasal passage and into the brain, causing massive swelling.

    Doctors gave Deleon a drug called Miltefosine, which is produced in Orlando. It arrived at the hospital within 12 minutes of diagnosis.

    It's impossible to say whether that was what saved Deleon.

    Doctors acted quickly with other medications and used other tools to help him as well, like cooling the body and inducing a coma to ease pressure on his brain.

    Signs of the amoeba were gone 72 hours later.

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