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Waterborne Amoeba Causes Third Death this Summer

EMSL Analytical provides PCR testing services for Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba implicated in three recent human infections and tragic deaths.


Cinnaminson, NJ
Today, CNN reported that the death of a teenager in Brevard County, Florida, has been linked to Naegleria fowleri.  This is the third death linked to the waterborne amoeba this year.  It is believed that the amoeba entered the teen’s body when she swam in a nearby river.  The other two confirmed cases this year occurred in Louisiana and Virginia.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Naegleria fowleri infects people by entering the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. The Naegleria fowleri amoeba travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue.”
Naegleria fowleri is found around the world. In the United States, the majority of infections have been caused by Naegleria fowleri from freshwater located in southern-tier states. The amoeba can be found in:

  • Bodies of warm freshwater, including lakes and rivers
  • Geothermal water and hot springs
  • Warm water discharge from industrial plants
  • Geothermal drinking water sources
  • Soil
  • Poorly maintained swimming pools
  • Water heaters with temperatures less than 47°C

“Fortunately confirmed deaths from Naegleria fowleri are quite rare,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading environmental testing laboratory.  “However, it could be that due to past testing limitations the frequency of infections may be higher.  With the advent of PCR testing technologies over the past several years, laboratories such as EMSL can now test for Naegleria fowleri from environmental samples using powerful DNA amplification methodologies,” he continued.
To learn more about Naegleria fowleri, indoor air quality (IAQ) or other environmental testing services please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


 waterborne amoeba death
 Naegleria fowleri PCR
 Brevard County Florida
 center disease control
 environmental testing

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