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Arkansas Girl Surviving Often-Fatal Brain Infection

10:20 AM, Aug 16, 2013   |    comments
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JEANNIE NUSS
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A kind of meningitis caused by a brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER'-ee-uh FOW'-lur-ee) is incredibly rare, but it's almost always fatal.

Health officials say there have been 128 reported cases in the United States since 1962, and only one person has survived.

So it's remarkable that 12-year-old Kali (KAY'-lee) Hardig is alive and responsive after she was diagnosed last month with a case.

Health officials believe Kali got sick after a trip to an Arkansas water park. Naegleria fowleri is often found in warm bodies of freshwater, such as lakes, rivers and hot springs.

The amoeba typically enters the body through the nose when people are swimming or diving. It can then travel to the brain and cause an infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM.

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