NAEGLERIA FOWLERI 3
NaegleriaFowleri is a single-celled microscopic amoeba of the Vahlkampfiidaefamily thatis free-living and inhabits warm soils and warm fresh water bodieslike ponds, rivers or springs (Hunter, 1997). It is also found in hotsprings, geothermal water points, untreated swimming pools and lowheat water heaters. The deadly amoeba is also known as the"brain-eating amoeba" because it attacks the brain and thenervous system, causing the deadly Primary AmoebicMeningoencephalitis,PAM(Cochrane,2012). is a dangerous public health problem sincethe organism can easily find its way to the public and home tap watersystem. For instance, in 2013, infected the unitedstates tap water and killed two boys in New Orleans and Mississippi(Fox, 2013).
Themicroscopic organism presents a great risk to all people because ofthe use of water and basic social amenities. However, children andteenagers are at greater risk because they are more likely to play inuntreated water masses and infected soils. Most of the cases of theinfections were reported in the United States and Australia (Hunter,1997). The effectiveness of preventive programs is limited to the lowawareness created in the United States and the world at large. Thisis because the preventive measures are still in research anddevelopment stages.
Theprevalence of the organism is caused by the existence of untreatedwater and unattended water masses around public places. Hunter (1997)argues that it spread can be disastrous because of the flow of waterfrom one place to another. The public should actually be warned ofthe places they visit, play, hike and the type of water they use. Athome, the public should use treat their swimming pools, chlorinatetheir water storage and maintain their water heaters clean.
Cochrane,P. (2012). Naegleriafowleri: What You Need to Know.From the IAQVideo Network, Retrieved From,<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLT82VMnNgQ>July24, 2014
Fox,H. (2013). Deadlybrain amoeba infects US tap water for the first time.RetrievedFrom,<http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/deadly-brain-amoeba-iNaegleriaFowleriects-us-tap-water-first-time-f8C11172643> July 24, 2014
Hunter,P. (1997). WaterborneDisease: Epidemiology and Ecology.New York: John Wiley & Sons