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A 26-year-old male asked:

can you get naegleria fowleri the brain eating amoeba from tap water? i got tap water up my nose. or can it not survive in tap water?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Louise Andrew
A Verified Doctor answered
A US doctor answered Learn more
Not at all likely: Only in LA has tap water been found to contain NF. Even so, it is not easy to get infected. If you do nasal irrigation you should boil the water first, but just a splash would probably not be dangerous if the water is chlorinated tap water. See http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/public-water-systems.html
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
When water is: properly chlorinated N. fowleri is killed. "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." It is exceedingly rare for municipal water not to be adequately chlorinated. >
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
REF: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/tap-faucet-water.html N. Fowleri has RARELY been found in public water systems (such as when CDC found 2 treated water systems in Louisiana in September-October 2013.) REF: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/public-water-systems-louisiana.html
Oct 1, 2017

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Similar questions

ME
A 29-year-old male asked:

I live in Maine on Town water. I recently got shower water directly up my nose. Im worried about brain eating amoeba, should I be worried?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Stuart Hickerson
Family Medicine 32 years experience
Infection: Very unlikely to get "brain eating amoeba" from domestic water source. However your best call would be to your local health dept if any issues with water.
A 19-year-old male asked:

I'm worried about brain eating amoebas as I accidentally got some water at the bottom of my nose and breathed it up the water from the upstairs bathroom sink and am concerned that it might have grown amoebas in in England and cant find any caseonline?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Leslie Wynne iii
Anesthesiology 37 years experience
Safe: The "brain-eating" ameba, Nagleria fowleri, is most commonly contracted by swimming or diving in a pond or lake containing the organism. It would not be found in sink water, so you're probably fine.

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Last updated Nov 27, 2017

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