Is The Brain-Eating Amoeba A Threat To Florida Swimmers?

July 22, 2015

An unseen threat lurks in poorly chlorinated swimming pools, standing tap water and water parks during the summer months. Warm weather and poorly treated swimming pools in Florida can create ideal conditions for a brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri). Discovered in 1965, the tiny amoeba thrives in standing warm water, sometimes where people are enjoying summer activities.

N. fowleri can enter through the nasal cavity, where it arrives at the brain to use as a food source. Once it enters the brain, the amoeba’s effects are usually fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been 35 amoeba infections from 2005 to 2014, with only two people surviving. In the years since its discovery, 133 people have been infected and only three have survived.

People who are unfortunate enough to catch the amoeba develop a health condition similar to meningitis. Symptoms can occur within one to nine days, and they include fever, nausea, stiff neck, headache and vomiting.

How Can Swimmers Avoid The Brain-Eating Amoeba?

Although infections from the amoeba are very rare, many victims of N. fowleri are young children, so it is important for parents to be aware of how to prevent this fatal infection from occurring. The amoeba can be anywhere there is stagnant and warm water, including water parks. In 2012, health officials speculated that a 12-year-old Arkansas girl picked up the brain-eating amoeba from a local water park.

To avoid the brain-eating amoeba, the CDC recommends holding the nasal cavity shut or using nose clips and avoiding uncleaned swimming pools.

Contact Us

Sidebar Contact Form

Practice Areas

Recent Articles

Hostile Work Environment Claims: Advocacy by Denver Work Discrimination Attorney

Hostile work environments can be detrimental to employees' well-being and productivity. Denver work discrimination attorneys play...
Scroll to Top
Skip to content