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Rare brain-eating amoeba in warm waters: Should you be concerned this summer?

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  • Staff Report 

As the summer temperatures rise, the presence of a deadly amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, also known as the “brain-eating amoeba,” becomes a concern in freshwater environments.

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Though rare, with only about three cases reported annually according to the CDC, the infection is almost always fatal.

The amoeba, which thrives in warm water, enters the body through the nose and targets the brain.

It is naturally found in warm freshwater locations like lakes, rivers, hot springs, and can even be present in poorly maintained swimming pools and water heaters.


Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is the severe condition that infected individuals develop, and there is currently no effective treatment for the amoeba.

Health officials recommend taking precautions to avoid infection, such as limiting water going up the nose, avoiding warm freshwater bodies, using nose plugs, and properly cleaning and chlorinating pools and spas. Increased awareness and research are crucial to developing better diagnostics and treatments for this deadly amoeba.