We wanted to comment on the current story about amebic meningitis that is in the news. The free living ameba is a rare disease that occurs when humans become infected. Water containing the ameba enters the nose and migrates into the brain. You do NOT become infected by drinking contaminated water. Symptoms begin 1-7 days after swimming exposure. There are no tests or prophylaxis for exposures. Your child will need evaluation if he or she develops fever with stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status, hallucinations, or coma. If you have further questions you may visit the CDC website or Arkansas Department of Health website.


Author – Dawn Martin, MD

September 2013