How to practice healthy precautions when swimming in freshwater lakes and ponds

You thought you were by yourself when you took that early morning swim in the beautiful lake. It had only slow ripples reflecting in the morning sun. And you, the early morning riser, could not resist the first plunge into the deepest part of the lake.

What you may not know is that your beautiful dive has disturbed the resting ameba. The 80 degree temperatures may have contributed to the growth of the rare pathogenic free-living amoebae. However, even your dog is at risk of possible illness. Naegleria fowleri and granaulomatious amoebic encephalitis are infections that are rare and are acquired through water entering the nasal passages

This is not meant to scare everyone out of ponds and lakes. However, it is meant to advise you of critical precautions and bring to your attention the hazards that may lurk in your favorite ponds and lakes.


Step 1

Added precaution for your nose

Toxins can travel through your nose and into your brain and spinal cord. When swimming or diving in any fresh water, use nose clips.

Step 2

Places to be wary of

Do not jump, swim or dive into water retention areas, hot springs or water that is used by industrial plants.

Step 3

Follow instructions on signs

Avoid any stagnant water bodies. Be sure to obey "No swimming signs."

Step 4

Seek medical help if needed

Seek prompt medical attention with fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck or signs of mental confusion.

Do not delay seeing a physician or go to the emergency room at a hospital. Progression of a water related illness can be rapid.

Things Needed
• Nose Clips
• Awareness of symptoms
• Care to read signs

Tips & Warnings
• Avoid the overgrowth of any blue green algae.
• Overgrown algae is called "toxic bloom" it looks like foam or scum and creates a powerful toxin.


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