Face of the day

A 12-year-old Arkansas girl who was infected with a rare brain-eating parasite continues to improve, Arkansas Children’s Hospital spokesman Tom Bonner said Sunday.
Kali Hardig is eating, drinking, smiling and talking, Bonner said. She is even walking with assistance during therapy sessions.
When Kali entered the hospital earlier this summer, she was in critical condition, unresponsive and unable to breathe without the assistance of a breathing tube.
A new photo released Sunday shows the dramatic improvement she has made. In the photo, Kali is sitting up in her hospital bed, smiling.
Kali’s doctors have been in virtually uncharted territory as they treat her for the rare amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri. Of 128 known cases in the past half-century, just two patients have survived, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kali is one of two 12-year-olds who recently contracted the amoeba. Zachary Reyna of Florida died last month of the parasite, even after receiving the same experimental drug that was given to Kali. He contracted the amoeba after kneeboarding in a water-filled ditch by his house August 3, his family told CNN affiliate WBBH.
Naegleria fowleri is found in hot springs and warm, fresh water, most often in the southeastern United States.
Between 2001 and 2010, there were 32 reported cases in the United States, the CDC says. Most of the cases occurred in the Southeast.
The amoeba enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain. You cannot be infected with the organism by drinking contaminated water, the CDC says.
“This infection is one of the most severe infections that we know of,” Dr. Dirk Haselow of the Arkansas Department of Health told CNN affiliate WMC about Kali’s case. “Ninety-nine percent of people who get it die.” – CNN

 

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