Be on the lookout for PAM this summer

Thursday, 30 March, 2017

Following the death of a 12 month-old boy at Townsville Hospital, ASID has released a warning to doctors working in remote and rural Australia to be watchful for signs of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a very rare but fatal brain infection, mostly affecting children.

PAM is caused by amoeba such as Naegleria fowleri and can be difficult to diagnose as symptoms are identical to those of bacterial or viral meningoencephalitis.

ASID recommends, “Any acutely unwell child with a history of bore water exposure and signs of meningitis or encephalitis should be considered for PAM as a potentially life-threatening diagnosis. Rural families should avoid swimming or diving into warm fresh water or to hold their nose if this can’t be avoided.”

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