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Safe to Work – December 2015 – Protect your family from water borne brain eating amoeba with UV water disinfection

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Rural communities are being warned of the dangerous water borne brain eating amoeba Naegleria Fowleri that has been highlighted recently in the media. Since 2001, three children, all living within 100km of each other in rural Queensland, have died from meningitis encephalitis caused by the amoeba.

The amoeba thrives in water temperatures above 25 degrees celsius and has been discovered in lakes, creeks, dams, bores and rain water tanks across the country.

Infection from Naegleria Fowleri cannot occur from drinking, cooking or washing clothes in the water. The risk occurs when contaminated water enters the nose and the parasite penetrates the brain. While infection is very rare with only around 300 known deaths worldwide, survival is even rarer with 98% of cases proving fatal.1

UV-Guard Technical Director, Luke Chamberlain said UV disinfection is a simple and cost effective measure to safeguard against the Naegleria Fowleri parasite.

“There are no microorganisms known to be immune to UV disinfection, including the deadly amoeba Naegleria Fowleri. UV water disinfection can safeguard rural water supplies without the need of adding chemicals. UV disinfection is also effective against the chlorine resistant Giardia and Cryptosporidium,” Mr Chamberlain said.

“A relatively high UV dose is required for protection against the parasite when it is in the cyst form. Regular off the shelf UV disinfection systems will not provide sufficient treatment. Our water treatment engineers work with our clients to design a UV system according to their specific needs and ensure the correct UV dose is applied to their individual water source, delivering safe water for domestic use,” Mr Chamberlain said.

Any untreated water source used for bathing or playing is a potential risk to young children, particularly if they dive into or put their head under the water.

“UV-Guard’s water disinfection systems can give you peace of mind that your children are protected from this deadly amoeba while still being able to enjoy playing in and around water,” Mr Chamberlain said.

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