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Houma, LA
A 32-year-old female asked:

Naegleria fowleri is in our municipal water, took a shower but covered nose well. is it possible to get this through the ear? i did get water in ears.

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Amebic encephalitis: ...due to Naegleria is very rare. It's not transmitted via the ears, only nose and sinuses. Anyway, I'm sure you haven't been exposed. Given Louisiana's climate, N fowleri could exist in water supplies like lakes or reservoirs, but it cannot survive standard purification methods (filtration, chorination, etc). I'm sure no water coming into any homes or public buildings is contaminated. No worries.
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
Provided original answer
And there is no need to cover your nose when you take showers or baths.
Aug 19, 2015
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
A/WDr. Handsfield: How did you become aware N. fowleri is in your municiple water? "Naegleria fowleri can grow in public and private water tanks and pipes, especially where little or no disinfectant (like chlorine or chloramine) is present. It can also grow in the pipes and water heaters of homes and buildings." REF: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/tap-faucet-water.html >>
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Provided original answer
N. fowleri infections are via the nose - not the ear. Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) infections due to N. fowleri are exceedingly rare. Try not to fret about this.
Oct 1, 2017
Last updated Nov 28, 2017

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