Swimmers warned of 'brain-eating amoeba' as temperatures rise

As the temperatures rise and people go cool off in the water, the Brazos River Authority is making others aware of the dangers of amoeba found in Texas waterways.

Naegleria fowleri, also known as the "brain-eating amoeba," grows as temperatures begin to rise and can be found in still bodies of water.

According to the CDC, once the amoeba enters the body, typically through the nose, it can cause a rare infection of the brain.

The Brazos River Authority said that while the infections are rare, they tend to primarily occur during the summer months.

According to authorities, the infection cannot occur from drinking water.

PAM symptoms are similar to those of bacterial meningitis
Here are the most common symptoms for those infected with brain-eating amoebas:
  • severe headache
  • fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • seizures (in late stages)
  • hallucinations (in late stages)
  • coma (in late stages)

PAM is almost always deadly, officials say.

Three ways to avoid a PAM infection
While officials stress that these infections are very rare, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself:
  • Purchase a nose clip to avoid getting water in your nose
  • Consider skipping trips to hot springs, lakes and unchlorinated spas
  • Run baths, shower taps and hoses for at least five minutes before use to flush the pipes
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