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Dr. Muneeb Ali
Dr. Muneeb Ali, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7377
Experience:  MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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I went skiing yesterday in the Jacinto River yesterday for

Customer Question

I went skiing yesterday in the Sam Jacinto River yesterday for the first time. Water was forcibly pushed up my nose at a few points. I'm scared I will contract Naegleria fowleri. What are my chances? I know symptoms don't shoe up for 2 to 12 days, but I can't help but worry and think every ache and pain and headache is the start of a symptom. (I've had a small headache off and on for 2 days in assuming is from sinuses)
JA: Is the headache episodic or daily? And what about nausea?
Customer: I'm not nauseous.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I don't think so
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Hi,
Welcome to JA and thanks for this question. Im sorry to hear about your situation. However the chances of your contracting Naegleria fowlerri are LESS than 0.1%, the reason being that while water travelling up your nose may lead to the development of the amebic illness BUT that usually occurs more so in patients who have an issue with abnormal communication between the nasal cavities/sinuses and the brain. Secondly, Naegleria is not a very common organism, it may seem like that you as you may have read cases on the internet or heard about stories online but the fact remains that MANY MANY physicians spend their lifetime without even looking at a single case. Yes there have been outbreaks in the past but they have been limited to single geographical areas. The San Jacinto river did have outbreaks in the past but none very recently, atleast no case has been reported recently as per the CDC website.

Additionally naegleria would usually present with severe headaches and very high grade fever usually in excess of 102 F. Additionally the really severe cases would show up within 2-7 days after exposure. Mild headaches etc are usually not due to naegleria.

But the point is that EVEN if you have been exposed to naegleria (which is unlikely), it is not likely that you will develop any symptoms etc. The incidence of these cases is VERY VERY low and your risk of acuqiring the infection is less than 0.1%

Do you have any more questions?

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Expert:  Dr. Muneeb Ali replied 2 months ago.

Would you like to know anything else? Any clarifications or additional questions that you might have, i would be happy to answer them for you. If done for now, please remember to leave a positive rating as that is the only way we are compensated for our time spent helping you. You can continue to ask follow-up questions even after the rating.