Health district warns of amoeba infection risk for children
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Naegleria fowleri is a concern to the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District.
Caution is urged when swimming in natural bodies of water; the only route of infection is through the nasal cavity.
Once the amoeba is in the sinus, the fatal disease, Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, can be caused.
Two key precautions that citizens can take to help protect their children include:
- Never play or swim in warm, muddy, stagnant waters
- Teach children to hold their nose or use nose clips when playing in any natural water body
These precautions are especially important when the type of recreation can force water into the nose, such as skiing, jet skiing, jumping or diving.
Infection is rare, but parents are cautioned to look for the following symptoms in their children a couple of days after swimming in natural bodies of water:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Stiff neck
- Loss of balance
- Hallucinations, or
The amoeba is not present in properly treated water, such as pools and hot tubs.
For more information on Naegleria fowleri and Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis, visit the CDC’s website or, contact the Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District at (940) 761-7805 or, the Cypress Water Treatment Plant at (940) 691-1153.
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