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Swimming Risk in Warm Unchlorinated Water Water-borne parasitic amebas

Naegleria fowleri causes fatal amebic meningoencephalitis

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living single cell ameba, which may enter the nose while swimming and cause fatal meningoencephalitis, a brain infection. The majority of cases have occurred in young healthy individuals swimming in  lakes, rivers, ponds, unchlorinated backyard kiddie pools, and other bodies of freshwater.

Naegleria fowleri’s niches in nature include hot springs, warm lakes in the South and Southwestern United States and other warm areas of the world. About 300 cases have been reported worldwide since the first case was diagnosed in 1965 in Australia. Two to six cases occur in the United States each year.

Since 1974 I have published a number of papers on N. fowleri in peer reviewed scientific journals as well as experimented with and studied the ameba for my Ph.D. dissertation. I test environmental samples for Naegleria fowleri. Call me if you need expert scientific help to protect your operation, such as swimming pool, water park, camp or other water facility.

Acanthamoeba causes eye infections

Keratitis, an eye infection, may be caused by free-living ameba Acanthamoeba polyphaga and A. castellanii. The infection occurs mainly in wearers of contact lenses, is difficult to treat, quite painful and may cause blindness. The amoeba can attach to a contact lens while swimming or washing a lens with non-chlorinated water. It feeds and multiplies on the protein and bacteria on the lens. When the lens is inserted in the eye, the amoeba attacks the cornea. Other cases have occurred from mud splashed into the eye or use of cistern water.