ADH: Swimmers at Willow Springs 8+ days ago not at risk for parasitic meningitis

    4:21 PM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
    (Photo: WillowSprings.net)
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Ark. Dept. of Health) - The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) would like to remind the public that infection from naegleria fowleri, or parasitic meningitis, is very rare. If you swam at Willow Springs Water Park more than 8 days ago, you are NOT at risk for the infection. Even if you swam at Willow Springs in the past week, your risk of infection is exceedingly low.

    "If you do not have symptoms, there is no test or preventive antibiotic or treatment needed," said Dirk Haselow, MD, State Epidemiologist at ADH.

    Persons with infection will develop symptoms such as fever, vomiting, stiff neck, headache, light sensitivity, irritability, sleepiness, confusion, or mental status changes within 7 days. If you develop two or more of these symptoms, please contact your doctor.

    The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has confirmed a rare case of primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by an ameba associated with warm rivers, lakes and streams. The organism that causes PAM is known as Naegleria fowleri. It is commonly found in warm freshwater and soil all over the world and can cause a rare but severe brain infection that is usually fatal.

    Naegleria cannot be passed from person-to-person. The organism typically infects people by entering the body through the nose as they are swimming and diving. Individuals cannot be infected with Naegleria by swimming in properly cleaned, maintained and disinfected swimming pools.

    For more information visit: http://www.arkansas.gov/health/newsroom/files/show.php?filename=naegleriafactsheet.pdf


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