Deadly amoeba infiltrates Tucson water
Oct 05,2007 00:00
TUCSON - Tests have turned up a particularly dangerous microbe thriving in Tucson’s water supply, a report said Friday.
The potentially lethal amoeba was blamed last month for the death of a teenager who had been swimming in Lake Havesu and is not considered a threat to Tucson’s chlorinated drinking water.
Known scientifically as Naegleria fowleri, the amoeba gets into a victim’s brain through the nasal passages, making it a particular threat to swimmers.
Health officials were somewhat surprised to find the amoeba in underground water supplies, the Arizona Star said, since the microscopic critter is generally only found in rivers and lakes.
One theory is that the use of biodegradable lubricants on the water system’s pumps has produced an underground source of food for the amoeba, which normally lives on bacteria.
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