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Potentially Deadly Ameoba Lurk in Our Lakes

Just as you would grab goggles before jumping in the pool, the Department of Health wants people to grab nose plugs before jumping in a lake. Hot weather brings the risk of being infected by an amoeba, and it's usually deadly.

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[Popular sports like water skiing can bring the risk of ameoba infection]

While amoeba infections are rare, they do happen and they usually kill.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the fatality rate is over 99-percent. In 2007, 3 children here died of amoeba infections.  In 2011, a 16-year old in Brevard county was infected and died.  Orange County Health Department spokesman Dain Weister said if your recreation involves fresh water, plan for amoeba.

“This means any lake, any river, any pond any kind of fresh water wherever you go, especially in the hot summer months, amoeba can be present,” he said. Weister also said amoeba enter the brain through nasal passages and cause a meningitis type infection. He said the best defense is to wear nose plugs. Warm water temperatures, low lake levels and kicked up sediment are all risk factors. Signs of infection include fever, stiff neck, headache and vomiting. 


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