Brain Eating Amoeba Lurking In Florida Waters

Florida health officials are urging swimmers to uses caution and steer clear of stagnant water because it could be home to brain eating amoeba.

Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba which is invisible to the naked eye. Stagnant, warm water is where the amoeba is more likely to be found in.

According to the CDC, “Naegleria fowleri is found in many warm freshwater lakes and rivers in the United States, particularly in southern-tier states.”

While the amoeba is usually harmless, according to ABC News, the amoeba can cause a fatal brain infection if inhaled through the nose.

“Naegleria was eyed in the death of a Minnesota child last summer, when the state experienced a heat wave. And in the summer of 2011, the amoeba killed four people in Virginia, Florida, Kansas and Louisiana, all of whom had been swimming in freshwater lakes.”

The brain eating amoeba has been reported all over the world, one incident reported 10 deaths in Pakistan.

Other news had reported that Neti Pots were responsible for transmitting the brain eating amoeba.

The CDC reported:

“The risk of Naegleria fowleri infection is very low. There have been 31 reported infections in the U.S. in the 10 years from 2003 to 2012, despite millions of recreational water exposures each year.”

There are no tests to detect the presence of the amoeba, but the CDC say there are new detection tests under development.

So how can you reduce the risk of infection? The CDC posted some easy to follow tips:

  • Hold your nose shut, use nose clips, or keep your head above water when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.
  • Avoid putting your head under the water in hot springs and other untreated thermal waters.
  • Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
  • Avoid digging in, or stirring up, the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.

With the weather warming up, the Florida health officials are urging swimmers to use caution and as the saying goes, “keep your nose clean” in order t prevent being infected by the brain eating amoeba.

[Image via Nixx Photography ]