Experimental drug helps girl fight brain-eating amoeba

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 12:52 PM

An experimental drug could be the key to saving a 12-year-old girl fighting a very rare health problem, CNN's Elizabeth Cohen reports.

Kali Hardig came into contact with a brain-eating parasite during a trip to an Arkansas water park. It invaded her spinal fluid, and doctors told Kali's parents that she may only have a few days to live.

To preserve brain tissue, Kali's doctors induced a coma and cooled her body to 93 degrees. They also decided to try an experimental anti-amoeba drug from the Centers for Disease Control.

Though they were unsure it would work, it seems to have cleared the amoeba from Kali's spinal fluid.

She is still in intensive care in critical condition; doctors need to deal with the aftermath of the infection and irritation in her brain.

If Kali pulls through, she will beat incredible odds: only one person in the United States has survived this disease in the past 50 years.

 

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