Diet & Nutrition

Water from hose kills Queensland baby

A baby boy died after contracting rare brain-eating parasite in rural Australia.

Jodi Keough with baby, Cash

A brave family has lost their little boy to a rare parasite that lives in water reports the Daily Mail.

A heartbreaking report last night on ABC's Australian Story told of Jodi and Laine Keough's pain at losing their son after he suffered a brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri after contracting the illness on their cattle station near Townsville.

The parasite, which is active in warm water enters the brain through the nose, usually via pressurised water. In this case, it is likely that playing with a hose on a hot day may have been the culprit.

"It always stands out in my mind because I insisted, I insisted all three of my kids have a hose each to play with, thinking I was being a good mum but I was actually putting my kids in some form of danger," Ms Keough said.

Cash quickly became noticeably ill and he wasn't acting like his usual self.

"He was more-so staring into space, the connection wasn't there I didn't feel like I was looking into my son's eyes anymore," Jodi said.

Cash was transferred to Townsville Hospital where he suffered multiple seizures, and his medical team began treating him for meningitis.

It was only when they removed fluid from his brain that they were able to diagnose the child correctly, but it was too late.

"It causes severe inflammation, it causes brain destruction and we have no immunity to this," said Dr Greg Wiseman, an expert in paediatric intensive care.

"I don't want to live this day again, it does fill you with dread that this can happen again," she told Australian Story.

"How did I grow up on the land and not know about this? I do feel that it is my responsibility, I do feel like it's up to me to prevent our nightmare becoming someone else's reality.

"I just want to empower people with the knowledge. I do believe it would just simply be a matter of time that someone else will lose someone they love and statistically it's probably most likely going to be a child and a small child."

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