Amoebas in Water and Their Nasty Effects

July 13, 2018

Do you know what is hiding in your water? Everything from harmless microorganisms to deadly disease could be swarming within the water without anyone ever noticing. In the United States, three people died in 2016 after they developed a brain-eating amoeba. The deadly infection developed after they became exposed to the amoeba Naegleria fowleri through a warm body of freshwater, such as a lake or river. Swimmers could be putting themselves at risk of exposure to this life-threatening disease without ever knowing it. Unfortunately, it is incredibly rare that anyone suffering from brain-eating amoeba will survive the infection.

Here’s what you need to know about the nasty effects of amoebas in water and how to protect yourself with water filtration in Columbia, TN.

What does this amoeba do?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the single-celled organism causes a condition known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis. There’s no stopping it from destroying the brain tissues and causing both severe swelling and death after it develops.

Where are they found?

This amoeba favors warm water locations, like lakes, rivers and hot springs. The CDC said it can inhabit swimming pools and even water heaters that aren’t properly maintained. Most brain-eating amoeba infestations actually happen in freshwater in Southern states, like Tennessee. This is because the state has an extended warm summer season.

How does the disease spread?

In most cases, the exposure to the disease starts in the water. The water containing the amoeba goes up through the nose and into the brain when an individual dives into a lake or splashes in a pool. The amoeba will then destroy the brain tissue. The breakdown of the tissue causes the brain to swell, which ultimately leads to death.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms start subtly enough. It might begin with a headache or a fever before nausea and vomiting will set in. The entire process generally occurs within nine days after being exposed to the amoeba. Fortunately, these infections are relatively rare, but they almost always end in death. Brain-eating amoeba has a fatality rate of 97 percent.

How can exposure be prevented?

Anyone who swims in freshwater should be aware there is at least some risk of infection. Swimmers should always take precaution by holding the nose closed to avoid having water go up the nose, or by using nose clips. Pool owners should take note to always keep their pool adequately disinfected before and during use. Place the hose directly into the skimmer to top off the swimming pool water with tap water, instead of just putting the hose straight into the water. This ensures that the filter is properly running, which would circumvent the spread of any amoebas. Talk to your water filtration specialist in Columbia, TN if you’re not sure how to do this.

Any questions about how to stay safe from brain-eating amoeba? Contact the professionals at Action Electric Motor & Pump Repair today. Our team will take the necessary steps to ensure your home is protected through water filtration in Columbia, TN. Call us today to learn more!

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