December 1, 2015
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Naegleria Infection (cont.)

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Can Naegleria fowleri infections be prevented?

The risk of infection with Naegleria fowleri can be reduced by trying to avoid aspiration of freshwater into the nose through basic swimming-safety measures like avoiding dunking, wearing nose plugs, avoiding areas with signs stating that amoebas are present, and other common-sense measures. Unfortunately, it is not possible to eliminate the amoeba from all freshwater sources. Standard chlorination of swimming pools is sufficient to eliminate the organism. Untreated well water or other sources of unchlorinated water should not be forced into the nose or used to irrigate the nose.

What is the prognosis of a Naegleria fowleri infection?

The prognosis for infected patients is very poor. More than 99% of infections are fatal despite treatment. The rare survivors may have residual neurological problems, such as seizure disorders.

Where can people find additional information about Naegleria fowleri infections?

The CDC is a good source of information on Naegleria infections:

Medically reviewed by Robert Cox, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Infectious Disease


Budge, P.J. "Primary amebic meningoencephalitis in Florida: a case report and epidemiological review of Florida cases." J Environ Health. 75 (2013): 26-31.

Yoder, J.S., B.A. Eddy, G.S. Visvesvara, L. Capewell, and M.J. Beach. "The Epidemiology of Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis in the USA, 1962-2008." Epidemiol Infect. 138.7 July 2010: 968-975.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/8/2015


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