Griffith residents are being urged to take cation around still, hot, and un-chlorinated pools of water to avoid the deadly amoebic meningitis disease.
Children and young adults are especially susceptible to the rare but often fatal disease, also known as naegleria fowleri, which destroys brain tissue usually after water born amoeba carrying the disease enter a person's nasal cavity.
With the current heatwave gripping Griffith, NSW Health have issued a state-wide warning for amoebic meningitis.
The disease is transferred by naegleria amoeba, microorganisms which thrive in hot and still pools of water and can also reside in soil.
According to NSW Health any water supply that is poorly maintained or under-chlorinated and which continually exceeds 25 degrees, or exceeds 30 degrees seasonally, may be at risk of containing the amoeba.
Lakes, rivers, dams, bores, tanks, spas and swimming pools that are poorly maintained under-chlorinated may all be at risk of containing the amoeba.
Residents are advised to prevent water going up their nose while swimming, diving or falling into warm, un-chlorinated water, or while children are playing under garden sprinklers.
Residents should also flush warm water from hoses before allowing children to play with hoses or sprinklers, and should consider adding chlorine to water taken from bores, dams, or tanks.
As a disease amoebic meningitis causes a brain infection that leads to the rapid destruction of brain tissue and usually causes death in the ten days after the infection.
Symptoms of the disease start about five days after the infection and may include headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations.
For more information about amoebic meningitis visit www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/naegleria.aspx.
Or call Contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.
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