Orlando, FL, November 18th
A Florida teenager was infected by a microscopic amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri
resulting in a devastating brain infection which horribly lead to fatality. According to media reports, the previously healthy boy went swimming at a campground with other children in North Florida. Several days later, he began to complain of headaches and later lost all signs of brain activity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people can become infected with Naegleria fowleri
if water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes, ponds, rivers and canals. The amoeba travels up the nose to the brain where it causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which destroys brain tissue. The CDC states that the fatality rate is over 97%.
Earlier this year, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) published a reminder to residents about the dangers associated with Naegleria fowleri
and provided the following precautions:
- Avoid water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater, hot springs and thermally polluted water such as water around power plants.
- Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
- Hold the nose shut or use nose clips when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers or hot springs.
- Avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.
- Please note exposure to the amoeba may also occur when using neti pots to rinse your sinuses of cold/allergy-related congestion or conducting religious rituals with tap water. Use only boiled and cooled, distilled or sterile water for making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual ablutions.
“Naegleria fowleri does not cause illness if swallowed, but can be fatal if it travels up the nose during water activities,” said Joseph Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “EMSL Analytical offers rapid environmental testing services for Naegleria fowleri utilizing highly sensitive PCR techniques that provide for extremely accurate results.”
EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about Naegleria fowleri that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/vLT82VMnNgQ.
To learn more about testing for Naegleria fowleri or other environmental, health and safety services, please contact EMSL Analytical at www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.