Boy killed by 'extremely rare' brain-eating bacteria
An eight-year-old boy from South Carolina passed away this week after contracting an extremely rare brain infection, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Daily Mail newspaper reported Friday.
Health officials said the victim, identified on a Facebook page created in his honor as Blake Driggers, of Sumter County, was exposed to a deadly organism called Naegleria fowleri, the report said.
“While this organism is present in many warm water lakes, rivers and streams in the South, infection in humans is extremely rare,” DHEC Director Catherine Templeton told WBTV. “Naegleria fowleri almost always results in death.”
Because the symptoms are very similar to bacterial meningitis, PAM may not even be considered in the diagnosis, according to the newspaper published in Britain.
Family friends said Driggers began complaining of a fever and headaches after a trip to the beach last weekend.
Mark Christmas, who sings in the church choir with Blake's father, said initially he and others felt that the boy may have simply gotten too much sun.