How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anthony Bray, MD Your Own Question
Anthony Bray, MD
Anthony Bray, MD, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10211
Experience:  14 years as clinician in the field of Family Practice
Type Your Health Question Here...
Anthony Bray, MD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How dangerous is pond and lake water (in terms of bacteria?)

This answer was rated:

How dangerous is the water in terms of the average U.S. pond or lake?  Enough to cause severe eye infections?

Anthony Bray MD : Hello!
Anthony Bray MD : While most people may swim on a pond or lake without complications--- there is an increased risk of infections there vs a chlorinated pool for example ....
Anthony Bray MD : The most serious potential is from certain amoeba that can access the nose and infect the brain and may be fatal. There are usually a small number of these annually in the US



Amoeba was what I was thinking about


Amoeba and bacteria affecting the eyes and other organs

Anthony Bray MD : Infections of the eye ---conjunctivitis is common -- much more common but much less serious...
Anthony Bray MD : For this reason I personally favor lakes for fishing or at most wading but pools for swimming!!!
Anthony Bray MD : the statistical risk is not that great but risk of infections are much greater vs the pools that are treated...



Well, I'm afraid the contact with lake water already happened


How long can the germs and amoeba survive out of water?


1 week? 1 month?

Anthony Bray MD : I hope this information helps. Let me know if you have further questions and I will be happy to get back with you!
Anthony Bray MD : if my answers have been helpful and to your satisfaction then please remember to leave positive feedback. That would be very much appreciated! Thank you and best regards,
Anthony Bray MD : Anthony Bray MD

Wait, how long can bacteria and amoeba survive out of the lake?

Anthony Bray MD : No an infection would develop within about three days if at all...

OK, but there was lake water on clothing, and that hasn't been washed since (weeks ago)

Anthony Bray MD : The survival would depend on the species and the environment of course but I would say that for the vast majority if you go three days without signs if trouble then you would be safe....
Anthony Bray MD : No bacteria would not survive that long on clothing....

Amoebas probably wouldn't survive that long either right?

Anthony Bray MD : Right....they would not survive long out of water...
Anthony Bray, MD and other Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Health Questions