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Health Highlights: Aug. 24, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

First Child to Receive Double Hand Transplant Doing Well

A 9-year-old boy who was the first child to receive a double hand transplant is thriving a year after the surgery.

Zion Harvey can do things such as throw a baseball, make himself lunch, zip up his own clothes and write in his journal, according to his medical team at Penn Medicine and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, CBS News reported.

Harvey lost his hands and feet at age 2 due to a serious infection that also caused organ failure and led to a kidney transplant. Last summer, he underwent the 10-hour surgery to receive donor hands and forearms.

Since then, Harvey has worked on improving his strength and dexterity and developing his brain-hand connections, CBS News reported.

"I feel happy about my new hands and I don't feel different," he said Tuesday at a hospital news conference. "Now I can throw a football further than when I didn't have hands."

"My next goal is to convince my mom to let me play football," Harvey added.

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Florida Teen Makes Rare Recovery From Brain-Eating Amoeba Infection

A Florida teen is recovering after becoming only the fourth person in the last 50 years to survive infection with the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which is fatal in 97 percent of cases.

Sebastian DeLeon, 16, arrived at Florida Children's Hospital in Orlando with a severe headache on Aug. 7. Doctors believe he was exposed to the amoeba at a freshwater lake a few days earlier, ABC News reported.

Tests of DeLeon's spinal fluid revealed signs of N. fowleri. He was admitted to the hospital 30 hours after first developing a headache. Doctors lowered his body temperature, induced a coma, and gave DeLeon the drug miltefosine, which has shown some promise in killing the amoeba.

After being kept in a coma for a few days, DeLeon was awakened by doctors and had his breathing tube removed. Within a few hours, he was speaking, according to Dr. Humberto Liriano, who treated DeLeon, ABC News reported.

N. fowleri occurs naturally in freshwater ponds and lakes. It can travel up the nasal passage to the brain.

Posted: August 2016


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