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Aquatic Microbiology Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/26/2023
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Nevada Toddler Dies from Brain Infection Caused by Naegleria fowleri
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides rapid PCR testing for Naegleria fowleri to identify this waterborne amoeba from environmental samples to help protect the public from life-threatening infections.

Cinnaminson, New Jersey, September 26, 2023

In July, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that the Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) had reported the death of a child from a Naegleria fowleri infection. Based upon DPBH’s investigation, the individual may have been exposed at Ash Springs, a natural hot spring located in Lincoln County. 

Naegleria fowleri, often referred to as the brain-eating amoeba, lives in soil and warm fresh water, such as in lakes, rivers and hot springs. People can become infected when water containing Naegleria fowleri enters the nose and migrates to the brain. This usually occurs while swimming. While the infection is extremely rare, it is also nearly always fatal. This is why DHHS reminds recreational water users that they should always assume there is a risk when they enter warm fresh water. 

In addition to warm lakes, rivers, hot springs and soil, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that Naegleria fowleri can potentially also be found in:

  • Warm water discharge from industrial plants
  • Geothermal (naturally hot) drinking water sources
  • Swimming pools that are poorly maintained, minimally-chlorinated, and/or un-chlorinated
  • Water heaters. Naegleria fowleri grows best at higher temperatures up to 115°F (46°C) and can survive for short periods at higher temperatures.

“The good news is Naegleria fowleri can be tested for from environmental samples utilizing exceptionally sensitive PCR techniques,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “These tests can be used proactively to help prevent infections or for quickly identifying the source of an infection if one has already occurred. These testing resources are available to health professionals, water utilities, water park operators, park districts, environmental professionals and the public.” 

EMSL Analytical 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 testing services, please visit 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 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, VOCs, 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 EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA 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.
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