Need care during the outbreak? Learn how DHPV can help

Need care during the outbreak? Learn how DHPV can help

Beware of Fatal Brain Infection While Swimming in Warm Fresh Water This Summer

Beware of Fatal Brain Infection While Swimming in Warm Fresh Water This Summer

With summer coming into full swing and the desire to take a dip in the lake, the last thing you want to hear is that there is a deadly, brain-eating amoeba called Naeglaria fowleri that you need to be aware of while swimming in fresh water. It sounds like something from a horror movie that would never happen in real life. However, while it is rare, the infection that comes from Naeglaria floweri, a single-cell organism living in rivers and lakes, is real and occurs mostly in the summer and in southern states.

According to USA Today, this rare, brain eating amoeba is 97% fatal. The infection is an extreme form of meningitis and has mostly been seen in people swimming in warm fresh water during the summer months. CBS News reported that at least 40 people in the US have died from this infection within the past decade. It is rare, but if infected, the likelihood of survival is minimal. Naeglaria floweri is contracted through the nose, not by drinking contaminated water. The first stage of symptoms are headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Then confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations are typical. Most people infected die within 12 days.

The best way to steer clear of this deadly, brain-eating infection is by either avoiding going under while swimming in warm, fresh water or being sure to hold your nose anytime you go under. Be especially cautious this summer if you live in the South.


Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

Call For Care Now

Speak directly with one of our highly trained Board Certified Emergency Physicians.





Follow Us

Check us out on our social media.

Copyright Dr. Housecalls of Paradise Valley 2022 All rights reserved.