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DOH-Charlotte Updates Residents on Naegleria fowleri
March 02, 2023
Charlotte County, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County (DOH-Charlotte) is providing an update on the detected case of Naegleria fowleri in Charlotte County. DOH-Charlotte, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, public utilities, and community partners continue to coordinate on this ongoing investigation, implement protective measures, and take any necessary corrective actions.
Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic single-celled living amoeba. In rare situations, the amoeba can cause an infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Infection with Naegleria fowleri is RARE and can only happen when water contaminated with amoebae enters the body through the nose. You CANNOT be infected by drinking tap water.
As always, residents should continue following these best practice safety measures:
- When making sinus rinse solutions, use ONLY distilled or sterile water. Tap water should be boiled for at least 1 minute and cooled before sinus rinsing.
- DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when
bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small hard plastic/blow-up pools.
- DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small plastic or inflatable pools) – walk or lower yourself in.
- Keep small plastic or inflatable pools clean by emptying, scrubbing, and allowing them to dry after each use.
- Keep your swimming pool adequately disinfected with chlorine before and during use.
- DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose, or consider using nasal clips for added protection.
DOH-Charlotte is providing nasal clips and educational materials at the location below while supplies last:
1100 Loveland Blvd,
Port Charlotte, FL 33980
It is essential to seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following symptoms after a nasal water exposure, such as a sinus rinse: headache, fever, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, loss of balance, or hallucinations.
For more information on this amoeba, please visit the CDC’s website.
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The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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