Safe Swim / Naegleria Fowleri (PAM)

  • Bacteria and other harmful organisms thrive in warm, standing water. 
  • The ameba Naegleria fowleri is found in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperatures and low water levels. It causes a very rare fatal brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). There is a low level of Naegleria fowleri risk when entering any warm, freshwater.  
  • Naegleria fowleri causes an infection that develops when the ameba enters the human body through the nose, making their way to the brain. 
  • Symptoms may occur within one to seven days and starts with headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck. Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you know develops any of these symptoms after swimming in freshwater.
  • Washington County has experienced two deaths in children related to illnesses from PAM.
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