Brain-eating parasite kills 12-year-old boy

Naegleria fowleri, a rare brain-eating parasite, caused the death of Zachary Reyna, a 12-year-old boy from LaBelle city in Florida.

Zachary Reyna

A report on CNN affiliate WBBH stated the family believed that Zachary was infected while kneeboarding with friends in a water-filled ditch near their residence last August 3.

According to WBBH, the boy was hospitalized and underwent brain surgery. The doctors’ diagnosis on him was “primary amoebic meningoencephalitis” and they treated him with an experimental drug.

Unfortunately, Zachary died Saturday afternoon, just after three weeks of battling the deadly infection.

A post from a Facebook page created for updates from the family stated that the boy’s other organs “are very strong and his parents have decided to donate his organs to others in need.”

Relatives and friends can visit Zac at Miami Children’s Hospital, said the post, which includes a message that reads “Even though Zac has passed, he will still be saving many lives.”


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on its website said the amoeba, which is found in hot springs and warm freshwater, enters the body through the nose then attacks the brain.

Medical experts say 90 percent of those who get the brain-eating parasite die.