Brain Eating Amoeba Found In Tap Water

August 24, 2012

Recent years have been prime weather for Naegleria fowleri, the brain eating amoeba that became famous when it killed a Florida teen, and then several others, including neti pot users. Tests of the homes of the neti pot users (both in Louisiana) found evidence that the Naegleria fowleri came from their tap water (it was found on swabs of their water heater and showers).

What makes this scary is that the municipal water supply is chlorine treated and contained no evidence of Naegleria fowleri. How the brain eating amoeba found its way into their homes is only speculation—did contaminated ground water somehow get into their pipes? Did the amoeba survive in their water heaters from an age before water treatments (not likely)?

Most local water treatment plants issue pamphlets showing content of elements of concern. Brain eating amoebas are a problem in the south, but other parts of the nation have different parasites that water treatment plants have to screen for and kill. Most water treatment plants are able to 100% eliminate parasites (although some estimates put parasites—of any kind—in tap in over 60% of US households).

Brain eating amoebas have to get into your sinuses first, so plug your nose when swimming in warm fresh water, and use distilled, boiled, or purified water to do your sinus rinses (or just use MesoSilver for a flood). It’s recommended not to wear contacts in the shower—they can attract parasites into your eyes.

Although brain eating parasites are super rare, no one wants to be the one guy who gets them, and the precautions against them are pretty easy!

Worried about brain eating parasites? Or are you more focused on the forthcoming flu season?

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