Updated: Aug 9, 2019
After hearing a local family tell their absolutely heartbreaking and life changing experience with Naegleria Fowleri, I felt compelled to educate as many families and people as possible.
Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba that commonly lives in freshwater and soil. Animals and humans become accidental hosts when exposed to the amoeba’s environment. During the warmer months of June-September, southern states see a spike in fatalities due to the brain-eating amoeba.
Knowledge is power, so lets get educated on infection prevention
Amoebas thrive in warm freshwaters and soil. This means you are exposing yourself when entering their life sources. Examples of these are:
-Warmer waters (80 to 113 F)
-Lakes, ponds, rock pits
-Slow moving rivers; especially low water levels (major concern right now with such an intense lack of rain.)
-Untreated swimming pools, well water and municipal water
-Hot springs and other geothermal water sources
Amoeba cannot live in treated or salt water. This is ultra helpful knowledge to have if you use a neti-pot or drink unfiltered tap water. Simply boil or treat the water before having it enter the nostrils. Amoebas enter the body by being forced through the nostrils where they then find the brain as a source of food.
Ways to prevent and guard yourself and loved ones from infection
Keep head above water during hot, summer months if swimming in untreated freshwater. Nose clips and swimming masks may be additional help if swimming in warmer untreated, slow moving, freshwaters.