City warns of health danger in bodies of water

The Wichita Falls Public Works Department and Public Health District is warning people who will be swimming in area lakes and rivers this summer about the possible presence of Naegleria fowleri and aiming to educate them about how to protect children from a highly preventable waterborne disease.

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Naegleria fowleri is found in all natural bodies of water. During the warm summer months the amoeba can infect people, especially children, by being forcibly injected into their sinus cavities during recreational activities. Once in the sinus, the amoeba can cause the fatal disease Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM).Two key precautions that citizens can take to help protect their children include:• Never swim or play in warm, muddy, stagnant waters.• Teach children to hold their noses or use nose clips when in any natural water body, especially in recreation that can force water into the nose, such as skiing, jet skiing, jumping, or diving.

If your child starts to experience any of the following symptoms within a couple of days of recreating in a natural body of water, contact your healthcare provider immediately:• Headache• Fever• Nausea and/or VomitingLater symptoms can include;• Stiff neck• Confusion• Loss of balance• Disorientation• Hallucinations• SeizuresThe amoeba does not live in swimming pools and hot tubs that are properly maintained and treated with chlorine and filtration.

For more information on Naegleria fowleri and Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis visit http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/index.html

This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: City warns of health danger in bodies of water

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