As you may already know, my family and I recently returned with friends from the Lake LBJ house a couple of weeks ago in Kingsland, Texas. Now, Austin Public Health has announced that a Travis County resident has died after contracting an amebic meningitis infection after swimming there about the same time we were there in August.

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This is obviously terrifying news to a father of 3 young children because of how the brain eating Naegleria fowleri is much more dangerous to kids under the age of 14, especially boys.

How do you contract Naegleria fowleri at Lake LBJ?

Cynthia Grandstaff/Canva
Cynthia Grandstaff/Canva

The amoeba can enter the body through the nasal passages while performing many simple water activities like swimming, diving, skiing, or a good old fashioned cannonball.

How do you prevent contracting Naegleria fowleri?

The best approach is plugging your nose before going under, and keeping your head above water as much as possible. Swallowing the water is not an issue, only through the nose.

Cynthia Grandstaff/Canva
Cynthia Grandstaff/Canva

Avoiding exposure is always the best approach with potentially harmful viruses and bacteria. Showering and cleanliness immediately following being in the water is also a smart strategy.

What happens if you get an amebic infection?

Symptoms can be anything from fever and nausea, to stiff neck and hallucinations. They can appear anywhere from 1 to 12 days after exposure according to this KWTX article.

Scientists say that the risk of the microbe being present in water and soil goes up during long periods of hot weather. Read more in this KVUE article.

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