The Latest: Rare drug rushed to brain-eating amoeba patient

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2016 12:59 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a person in South Carolina fighting a rare brain-eating amoeba (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

An Orlando, Florida, drug company has rushed a drug used to fight rare parasites to a South Carolina hospital treating a patient who contracted a rare, usually deadly brain-eating amoeba.

Profounda CEO Todd MacLaughlan told The Associated Press he sent a courier on the six-hour drive to Charleston with the drug Tuesday night.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the drug, called miltefosine, was critical in the recovery of one of only two people in the United States known to survive the amoeba.

MacLaughlan says this is just the second time his company has sent the specialized drug that costs about $48,000 for a round of treatment to a hospital. It was delivered as capsules.

The name, age, sex or condition of the South Carolina patient has not been released.

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4:35 a.m.

Health officials say a South Carolina resident has contracted a rare, potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba that is naturally present in warm fresh water.

State Department of Health and Environmental Control epidemiologist Linda Bell tells news outlets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the patient was exposed to Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER'-ee-uh FOW'-lur-ee), a one-celled organism that can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis.

Bell says the individual is believed to have been exposed to the amoeba while swimming July 24 near Martin's Landing on the Edisto River in Charleston County.

The organism doesn't cause illness if swallowed, but can be deadly if forced up the nose. The CDC said only 10 cases or so are reported each year, nearly all of them fatal.