EP1203:†††††††††† Severe Brain Infections and the Environment: The Changing Epidemiology of Naegleria fowleri Infections


Speaker:††††††††† Michael J. Beach, PhD


Naegleria fowleri is a heat-loving ameba that causes a rare waterborne disease, primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Following swimming in freshwater lakes, the ameba enters the nose, follows the olfactory nerve to the brain where digests brain tissue and causes death. Although PAM is a rare disease, it has a large impact due to the high mortality rate (>99%) and loss of trust in recreational waters. Attend this session to learn about ameba basics, recent epidemiologic changes, and challenges for prevention efforts.


In closing, the management of legionnaireís outbreaks in these types of settings are can stretch the resources of local public health and the long-term care facilities and this presentation is designed to educate attendees as to a local health departmentís perspective and lessons learned.