Swimming? Take Precautions Against This Amoeba

May 15, 2018
Originally published on May 15, 2018 12:48 pm

Freshwater swimmers are being warned to wear nose clips as the weather gets warmer.

Florida Department of Health’s Kent Donahue says the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri found in ponds, lakes, and even untreated pools and hot tubs can cause a type of deadly meningitis.

“Unfortunately, it’s almost always fatal. And the amoeba travels up the swimmer’s nose to the brain and spinal cord, it definitely happens during the activities of swimming, diving, skiing, or wake boarding so you want to make sure you take precautions when you’re doing these activities this summer.”

The amoeba infects the back and spine after entering through a swimmer’s nose. 

Symptoms including fever, headache, stiff neck, and vomiting require, that may not present for two weeks after water activities, require immediate medical attention.

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