I heard about this a long time ago, dangers of swimming in warmer waters, even in the US.
Texas health officials are warning residents to take precautions when swimming.
From 1937 through 2007 only 121 cases have been reported in the U.S. All cases
with the exception of one have been fatal.
Texas health officials are warning residents to take precautions when swimming,
following the death of a seven-year-old Arlington youth. Doctors said, a seven
year old boy was the victim of a rare and nearly always infection of the brain.
The boy, his big sister, cousins and family members had been swimming in the
Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas, as part of a weeklong camping trip before
the start of school. Three days later, the boy died from an infection caused by
an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.
Only a very few unlucky individuals become infected with this ameba and develop
primary amebic meningoencephalitis, better known as PAM. It is a very rare, but
nearly always fatal disease. The amoeba enters the nose and then follows the
olfactory nerve to brain. From 1937 through 2007 a total of 121 cases of PAM
have been reported in the U.S. All cases with the exception of one have been
During a 2007 outbreak, the amoeba claimed the lives of six individuals. One of
the victims was a 14 year old Arizona boy hospitalized with symptoms of possible
meningitis. He had begun to experience a severe headache, stiff neck, and fever.
The youth had been swimming in a stream in northeastern Arizona and was observed
diving and splashing in shallow water. The hospital laboratory detected N.
fowleria in cerebrospinal fluid. The youth latter died from PAM.
During the 2007 outbreak, a Texas youngster aged 12 years was admitted to a
hospital following six days of a high fever. He had been attending a summer
camp in Central Texas in the weeks preceding his illness and had participated in
recreational water activities in a lake cove. While at camp he had visited the
camp nurses three times, reporting “not feeling well.” In spite of aggressive
treatment with a number of antibiotics the youngster died.
It is not known what concentration of N. fowleri represents an unacceptable risk
or how a standard might be established to protect human health. Why only certain
individuals become infected with the ameba while others swimming in the same
body of water do not remains a mystery.
Texas health officials are advising residents to avoid swimming in stagnant
water and to use nose clips when skiing, jet skiing, or jumping into any fresh
water. Since 2000, ten cases have been reported in Texas. All have been fatal.
Several different species of Naegleria can be found around the world.
Fortunately it is only N. fowleria that causes PAM. In the United States, it has
caused infections in the following fifteen southern states: Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New
Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. The ameba
may be found growing in warm lakes and rivers; geothermal hot springs; warm
water discharge from industrial plants; and minimally-chlorinated or
non-chlorinated swimming pools.
This seems to happen often, here on Lake Travis, Austin area. News media constantly warns of it. They say that it enters through the nose, and can be avoided if you wear nose clips while playing in the lake. The lake is always warm, in the 80s, during the summers.
I'd don't know why they aren't saying that it could enter any orifice, the ears, nose, mouth. Seems like an opportunistic little devil. It's very sad, when it happens. Well, publicized.