Dallas, Texas, November 11th
Earlier this fall, officials from the City of Arlington, Texas announced that a child had developed and later died from an infection of the brain known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). PAM is a rare and often fatal infection caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba.
According to a city press release, a Tarrant County Public Health investigation determined two possible sources for the child’s exposure to water containing N. fowleri: the family’s home in Tarrant County or a park splash pad in Arlington. In late September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of active N. fowleri amoeba at the splash pad from water samples and determined the Arlington site was the likely source of the child’s exposure.
CDC reports that Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers and hot springs) and soil. People can become infected if water containing the amoeba enters the body through the nose. The agency also states that in very rare instances, infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water) enters the nose.
“While these deadly infections are quite rare, another child in Tehama County, California also died from PAM this summer after swimming in a local lake according to the Tehama County Health Services Agency,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “In the Texas case, the splash pad was closed and the City of Arlington announced it conducted a thorough review of splash pad equipment and supplies, maintenance, water quality inspection policies, procedures and training to ensure safe recreational spaces for residents and visitors. EMSL is also a resource for water park operators, park districts, municipalities and health professionals. Our laboratories provide rapid environmental testing services for Naegleria fowleri utilizing highly sensitive PCR techniques that provide for extremely accurate results. These tests can be used proactively to help prevent infections and for quickly identifying sources if an infection has already occurred.”
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 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.