why you need to boil water

Discussion in 'Bushcraft' started by beast, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ATLANTA (AP) — Two children and a young man have died this summer from a brain-eating amoeba that lives in water, health officials say.This month, the rare infection killed a 16-year-old Florida girl, who fell ill after swimming, and a 9-year-old Virginia boy, who died a week after he went to a fishing day camp. The boy had been dunked the first day of camp, his mother told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

    Those cases are consistent with past cases, which are usually kids — often boys — who get exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds or lakes.

    The third case, in Louisiana, was more unusual. It was a young man whose death in June was traced to the tap water he used in a device called a neti pot. It's a small teapot-shaped container used to rinse out the nose and sinuses with salt water to relieve allergies, colds and sinus trouble.
    Health officials later found the amoeba in the home's water system. The problem was confined to the house; it wasn't found in city water samples, said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana's state epidemiologist.

    The young man, who was only identified as in his 20s and from southeast Louisiana, had not been swimming nor been in contact with surface water, Ratard added.
    He said only sterile, distilled, or boiled water should be used in neti pots.

    The illness is extremely rare. About 120 U.S. cases — almost all of them deaths — have been reported since the amoeba was identified in the early 1960s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    About three deaths are reported each year, on average. Last year, there were four.
    There are no signs that cases are increasing, said Jonathan Yoder, who coordinates surveillance of waterborne diseases for the CDC.

    The amoeba — Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL-er-eye) — gets up the nose, burrows up into the skull and destroys brain tissue. It's found in warm lakes and rivers during the hot summer months, mostly in the South.

    It's a medical mystery why some people who swim in amoeba-containing water get the fatal nervous system condition while many others don't, experts say.

    But the cases that do occur tend to be tragic, and there's only been one report of successful treatment.

    "It's very difficult to treat. Most people die from it," Ratard said.
    AP writer Stephanie Nano in New York contributed to this report.
    CDC: CDC - Naegleria

    Article: Amoeba blamed for swimming death in FloridaReuters - Mon, Aug 15, 2011
    Kingfish likes this.
  2. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Thanks for the report. It seems that allowing this stuff into the sinus is how it gets to the brain. Its nasty for sure. Our lake is very warm in the summer and I dont advocate swimming in it. KF
  3. LdMorgan

    LdMorgan Monkey+

    One characteristic of this nasty little beastie is that it tends to hang out just a few inches above the bottom of the lake, mostly in warm stagnant water.

    The fact that it prefers the bottom layer of the water is probably the reason that so few people contract it.

    So sparkling streams and babbling brooks should be pretty much safe. And chilly spring-fed ponds.

    I'm absolutely astonished it was found in someone's water pipes.
  4. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Running water isn't it's habitat; plus as "city" water is usually chlorinated; maybe to avoid the chlorinated in his nose he used "pure" rain water?
  5. UrbanFool

    UrbanFool The Village Idiot

    I swam/splashed mostly in a neighbor's fairly small pool... she keeps it clean, but it isn't a built-in pool with mega-chemicals. I've had an eye infection ever since... day 16 now. The doctors don't seem to think that's an issue at all, but it's been SIXTEEN FARKING DAYS and I feel like there is a thumb pressing on the back of my eyeball (plus it's all red). No idea where this came from.

    Yes, boil your water. And I'll stay away from that swimming pool.
  6. prepperdad

    prepperdad Monkey+

    Ewwww.....that makes me not want to go swimming in lakes and streams, I might accidentally drink some.
  7. wretch05

    wretch05 Monkey+

    wow didn't know about that thanks for post and links. Spent my whole life in waters like those.
  8. Smitty

    Smitty Monkey+

    I used to run an aquatics company doing pond and lake management. We treated ponds for aquatic weeds as well as installed bubbler and fountain systems to avoid the stagnant water problems. One of the young girls who died from one of these amoebas contracted it swimming in a pond I once serviced and had lost the contract to due to being undercut by a know it all with cheap equipment. Turns out the bubblers and fountain had been removed and sold to save money on power and servicing for the HOA per his recommendation...Sad when people sacrifice the safety of themselves and their children to save a couple bucks....bahhhh

  9. Dogfood

    Dogfood Monkey+++

    I have been over this stuff with people so many times. Most think if it's clear has no smell or is running it is safe to drink. It is bad if tap water is killing people I don't drink it myself but most of us shower with it.
  10. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    TEEX has a textbook called Basic Water Operations (or something similar) that they put out for people wanting to get their Class D water operator license here in Tx. There is a line in it that admonishes the reader, should he find himself in a trench doing a water main repair, "do not use the trench as a latrine". Back when I was in that class, everyone laughed, until the instructor shook his head and said "you guys would be amazed at how often that happens".

    Anytime they do line repairs upstream from work or my house, I pass on drinking the water. Yeah they dose the new mains with a crapton of chlorine, but the fact that they actually had to put it in the text book not to do it just skeeved me out.
  11. Thanks for the report. I really appreciate you passing it along!
  12. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Naegleria FAQs
    What is Naegleria?

    Naegleria is an ameba (single-celled living organism) commonly found in warm freshwater (for example, lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil. Only one species (type) of Naegleria infects people: Naegleria fowleri.
    How does infection with Naegleria fowleri occur?

    Naegleria fowleri infects people by entering the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. The Naegleria fowleri ameba travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue.
    You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated tap water <47°C) enters the nose, for example when people submerge their heads or cleanse during religious practices (1), and, possibly, when people irrigate their sinuses (nose).
    Where is Naegleria fowleri found?

    Naegleria fowleri is found around the world. In the United States, the majority of infections have been caused by Naegleria fowleri from freshwater located in southern-tier states (2). The ameba can be found in:
    • Bodies of warm freshwater, such as lakes and rivers
    • Geothermal (naturally hot) water, such as hot springs
    • Warm water discharge from industrial plants
    • Geothermal (naturally hot) drinking water sources
    • Soil
    • Swimming pools that are poorly maintained, minimally-chlorinated, and/or un-chlorinated
    • Water heaters with temperatures less than 47°C (3, 4)
    Naegleria fowleri is not found in salt water, like the ocean.
    Can I get a Naegleria fowleri infection from a disinfected swimming pool?

    No. You cannot get a Naegleria fowleri infection from a properly cleaned, maintained, and disinfected swimming pool.
    How common are Naegleria fowleri infections in the United States?

    Naegleria fowleri infections are very rare. In the 10 years from 2001 to 2010, 32 infections were reported in the U.S. Of those cases, 30 people were infected by contaminated recreational water and two people were infected by water from a geothermal (naturally hot) drinking water supply.
    When do Naegleria fowleri infections most commonly occur?

    While infections with Naegleria fowleri are very rare, they occur mainly during the summer months of July, August, and September. Infections are more likely to occur in southern-tier states, but can also occur in other locations. Infections usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods of time, which causes higher water temperatures and lower water levels. Infections can increase during heat wave years.
    Can infection be spread from one person to another?

    No. Naegleria fowleri infection cannot be spread from one person to another.
    Back To Top
    What are the symptoms of Naegleria fowleri infection?

    Naegleria fowleri causes the disease primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue. In its early stages, symptoms of PAM may be similar to symptoms of bacterial meningitis.
    Initial symptoms of PAM start 1 to 7 days after infection. The initial symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck. Later symptoms include confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within 1 to 12 days.
    Is there effective treatment for infection with Naegleria fowleri?

    It is not clear. Several drugs are effective against Naegleria fowleri in the laboratory. However, their effectiveness is unclear since almost all infections have been fatal, even when people were treated.
    What should I do if I have been swimming or playing in freshwater and now think I have symptoms associated with Naegleria fowleri?

    Infection with Naegleria fowleri is very rare. The early symptoms of Naegleria fowleri infection are more likely to be caused by other more common illnesses, such as meningitis. People should seek medical care immediately whenever they develop a sudden onset of fever, headache, stiff neck, and vomiting, particularly if they have been in warm freshwater recently.
    How common is Naegleria fowleri in the environment?

    Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in lakes in southern-tier states during the summer. This means that recreational water users should be aware that there will always be a low level risk of infection when entering these waters. In very rare instances, Naegleria has been identified in water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated tap water <47°C).
    Back To Top
    Is there a routine and rapid test for Naegleria fowleri in the water?

    No. It can take weeks to identify the ameba, but new detection tests are under development. Previous water testing has shown that Naegleria fowleri is very common in freshwater venues. Therefore, recreational water users should assume that there is a low level of risk when entering all warm freshwater, particularly in southern-tier states.
    How does the risk of Naegleria fowleri infection compare with other water-related risks?

    The risk of Naegleria fowleri infection is very low. There have been 32 reported infections in the U.S. in the 10 years from 2001 to 2010, despite millions of recreational water exposures each year. By comparison, in the ten years from 1996 to 2005, there were over 36,000 drowning deaths in the U.S.
    How will the public know if a lake or other water body has Naegleria?

    Recreational water users should assume that there is always a low level of risk whenever they enter warm freshwater (for example, when swimming, diving, or waterskiing) in southern-tier states. Posting signs is unlikely to be an effective way to prevent infections. This is because the location and number of amebae in the water can vary over time. In addition, posted signs might create a misconception that bodies of water without signs are Naegleria fowleri-free.
    How can I reduce the risk of infection with Naegleria fowleri?

    Naegleria fowleri is found in many warm freshwater lakes and rivers in the United States, particularly in southern tier states. It is likely that a low risk of Naegleria fowleri infection will always exist with recreational use of warm freshwater lakes, rivers, and hot springs. The low number of infections makes it difficult to know why a few people have been infected compared to the millions of other people using the same or similar waters across the U.S. The only certain way to prevent a Naegleria fowleri infection is to refrain from water-related activities in or with warm, untreated, or poorly-treated water.
    If you do plan to take part in water-related activities, some measures that might reduce risk include:
    • Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.
    • Hold the nose shut or use nose clips when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.
    • Avoid digging in, or stirring up, the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.
    If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses (for example, by using a neti pot), use water that has been:
    Rinse the irrigation device after each use with water that has been distilled, sterilized, filtered, or previously boiled and leave the device open to air dry completely.

  13. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    If this amoeba was only in their home's piping and not the cities water supply, then somehow infected water would have to back flow from an infected source such as a sink full of water and into the piping. Perhaps a garden house without a back flow device, problem is they would have needed no water pressure for back flow to occur. There is the possibility that the water purveyor wasn't forth coming with all info.

    Interesting, anybody ever heard of any further conclusions as to the source of contamination. As a back flow/cross connection specialist I am always interested in hearing of water contaminants and/or the source. This is how the industry learns from incidents like this.

    I am suspecting that the contamination was found on the hose sprayer at the kitchen sink. It probably came into contact with the neti pot and was not actually found within the piping in the house.
    modernwoodsman likes this.
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