Just recently, a teen has passed away in North Carolina due to a trip to a well known water park. At that park, he was infected with a brain eating amoeba. This shocking news isn’t the first time that a public waterpark/body of water has been infected by a dangerous substance. Last year a teen died in Minnesota from a brain eating amoeba in addition to many getting sick from the contaminated water. Currently several water sources in Virginia are contaminated with bacteria and viruses. According to CBS news, “a local expert is warning Virginia swimmers and river-goers to remain aware of a potentially deadly micro-organism found in most bodies of fresh water in our region.” In addition, a popular summer vacation spot, Myrtle Beach, has been infecting people due to high levels of bacteria in the water. According to WCNC.com, ” there is more concern from parents after another dangerous bacteria infected a young swimmer.” That was retrieved from a news article describing a parent who was concerned for beach goers after her child contracted a dangerous eye infection from the ocean waters. The point of these two news articles is to use caution when swimming or being around potentially contaminated waters. Follow these three tips to stay safe in water:
- Ask local officials- Ask the local officials in your area if the water is safe to swim in, or if bacteria levels have been reported high. If they have been reported high or are advised unsafe, don’t swim in that area. Find another safer area to swim/be around the water.
- Try to protect your face- If you are in potentially risky water, don’t let any water come in contact with your face, mainly your ears, nose, and eyes. Exposed cuts or abrasions are also another important area to keep out of the water. If you must swim for some reason, try and keep the water out of your face. That will greatly reduce your risk of contamination.
- Shower off right away- If you love the ocean and absolutely can’t stay out, at least shower off right after your swim. Most beaches and waterparks have showers, so immediately removing the contaminated water could help.
Although these tips don’t guarantee safety, they will help. Remember, the only true way to stay safe is to stay out of infected areas. Click the links below for information on current bacteria/amoeba news articles!