Charlotte County offering free nose clips, Warns of Naegleria fowleri

In order to promote safe swimming, DOH-Charlotte & Charlotte County Parks & Recreation will be providing nose clips at no cost to the public.  They will be available at the following locations:

Port Charlotte Beach Recreational Center
4500 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL
Monday – Friday  9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Port Charlotte Beach Pool
4500 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL
Tuesday – Friday  1:00 pm to 4:00 pm &
Saturday  1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

*While supplies last.

DOH cautions those who swim and dive frequently in Florida’s lakes, rivers and ponds during warm temperatures about the possible presence of Naegleria fowleri. Adverse health effects on humans can be prevented by avoiding nasal contact with the waters, since the amoeba enters through the nasal passages. As a precaution, health officials recommend the following:

  1. Avoid water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater, hot springs and thermally polluted water such as water around power plants
  2. Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature and low water levels
  3. Hold the nose shut or use nose clips when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, or hot springs.
  4. Avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.
  5. Please note exposure to the amoeba may also occur when using neti pots to rinse your sinuses of cold/allergy-related congestion or conducting religious rituals with tap water. Use only boiled and cooled, distilled, or sterile water for making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual ablutions.

If you experience any of these symptoms after swimming in any warm body of water, contact your health care provider immediately: headache, fever, nausea, disorientation, vomiting, stiff neck, seizures, loss of balance, or hallucinations. It is essential to seek medical attention right away, as the disease progresses rapidly after the start of symptoms.

Remember, this disease is rare and effective prevention strategies can allow for a safe and relaxing summer swim season.

This comes after media reports emerged of a Port Charlotte teen contracting the parasite.

Despite media reports, the Department of Health says there have been no confirmed cases of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in Charlotte County.

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