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Tap & Faucet Water

Most Naegleria fowleri infections are associated with swimming in warm freshwater lakes and rivers. However, very rarely, Naegleria fowleri has caused deaths associated with tap or faucet water going up the nose 1-5. Naegleria fowleri can grow in public and private water tanks and pipes, especially where little or no disinfectant (like chlorine or chloramine) is present. It can also grow in the pipes and hot water heaters of homes and buildings.

Naegleria fowleri infections have been reported when people put their heads underwater, rinse their sinuses through the nose, and cleanse their noses during religious practices using contaminated tap or faucet water.

Visit the pages below to learn how you and your water utility company can protect your health.

References
  1. Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals. DHH Confirms Death of a Child Associated with Rare Amoeba Found in St. Bernard Parish Home. September 5, 2013.
  2. Dorsch MM, Cameron AS, Robinson BS. The epidemiology and control of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis with particular reference to South Australia. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1983;77(3):372-7.
  3. Yoder JS, Straif-Bourgeois S, Roy SL, Moore TA, Visvesvara GS, Ratard RC, Hill V, Wilson JD, Linscott AJ, Crager R, Kozak NA, Sriram R, Narayanan J, Mull B, Kahler AM, Schneeberger C, da Silva AJ, Beach MJ. Deaths from Naegleria fowleri associated with sinus irrigation with tap water: a review of the changing epidemiology of primary amebic meningoencephalitis. Clin Infect Dis. 2012;1-7.
  4. Shakoor S, Beg MA, Mahmood SF, Bandea R, Sriram R, Noman F, Ali F, Visvesvara GS, Zafar A. Primary amebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri, Karachi, Pakistan. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(2):258-61.
  5. CDC. Primary amebic meningoencephalitis associated with ritual nasal rinsing — St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, 2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62(45):903.
 
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