Cinnaminson, NJ, September 5, 2013 -- Recent media reports have stated that a young girl who entered a hospital earlier this summer due to an often fatal amoeba infection continues to improve. This good news follows the tragic case of a young Florida boy who lost his battle with the same condition late last month.
Both children were infected with Naegleria fowleri, commonly referred to as the brain-eating amoeba. The infection of the brain caused by the amoeba is known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Naegleria is commonly found in warm freshwater and soil. Fortunately, only one species of Naegleria infects people, Naegleria fowleri.
The amoeba infects people when water containing the organism enters the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people are swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. It then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys brain tissue.
Naegleria fowleri is found around the world. In the United States, the majority of infections have occurred from freshwater located in southern-tier states. The amoeba can be found in:
- Bodies of warm freshwater, including lakes and rivers
- Geothermal water and hot springs
- Warm water discharge from industrial plants
- Geothermal drinking water sources
- Poorly maintained swimming pools
- Water heaters with temperatures less than 47°C
“Although cases of PAM are rare, when they do occur it can often be fatal,” reported Charles Li, Ph.D., Director of PCR and DNA Analysis at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “EMSL offers testing services to identify this amoeba from environmental samples utilizing highly sensitive PCR testing techniques.”
EMSL has sponsored an educational video about Naegleria fowleri that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/vLT82VMnNgQ.
To learn more about Naegleria fowleri or other environmental testing services, please contact EMSL Analytical at www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, microbial pathogen, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.