Brain-Eating Amoeba

Nfowleri_LifeCycleIn recent news we heard about a 12 year old boy who passed away from contracting this brain eating amoeba.  Very sad to hear this happen, out having fun and something we can’t even see harms us. We send out our condolences to the family of this young boy losing him at such a young age. More on Zachary’s story from ABC

We also received an email from a concerned customer with worries about his kids swimming in the pond, which why this post has come up to help inform of the potential danger’s and precautions.

We shot an email to our buddy Cary Martin, Environmental Science Specialist, about the brain eating amoeba and if they would exist in a pond and how would we get rid of them.

Cary offered a few suggestion and provided this picture of the life cycle of the bacteria from the CDC.

As a boy learning to swim Cary’s parents and other parents insisted on nose plugs and ear plugs whenever they were out in the lake during their swimming lessons. As he grew up and became aware of the potential risk he asked the lake manager if there was ever a problem and he said they have never seen the amoeba.

Cary also said, in the diagram the stage where it is in its amoeba stage is the only one that will infect and live inside a human.

To be able to live through its stages, it requires very warm water, 90+ and usually mucky soils near the shore. Further out in the center rarely is this bacteria located.

Precautions and proactive to keep this nasty amoeba at bay are: Wearing Nose and Ear Plugs as suggested above and the same tools we use for managing our ponds with proper sized aeration to keep the water column moving while pulling oxygen to the bottom of the pond and the use of beneficial bacteria’s that work by consuming suspended nutrients, muck from the bottom of the pond.

The question is this brain eating amoebas in our ponds? While there is no definite answer we do want to be cautious around the edges. Walking into the pond you notice how warm the water is and as you get deeper it cools a bit. This shallow water warms quickly during the day and could very well be in the range of 90 degrees. While walking in do you notice you sink rather deep and that stuff oozing through your toes smells rather nasty? This would be the MUCK mentioned earlier where the bug likes to live.

From Fox news, Chris Kilham, Between 2003 and 2012, 31 cases of Naegleria fowleri infection were reported in the United States. All cases were fatal. If young Kali Hardig survives her ordeal with this horrific agent, she will be the second person among 128 in the U.S. to survive infection since 1962.

Other sources are from the CDC and where the life cycle photo was located, more on the Naegleria fowleri

We are looking into any other treatments that may help to eliminate the bad bug and will post an update here, when we find any more information.

About the Author: Darrell Rhoades is the founder of A one man business, works full time in tool & die. It all started when he built his own pond for the family. Ran into pond issues and started the research with pond suppliers and conferences for pond management. He writes about pond building and pond management and sells pond management supplies, aeration & fountains and Practical hands on experiences at . No physical store, but has items in stock.