Amoebic meningitis is well known in hotter states of Australia. Despite its notoriety, amoebic meningitis is a very rare infection. It is caught from stagnant water in waterholes and in poorly chlorinated swimming pools, especially when the water temperature rises above 30C. Children can become infected when contaminated water is forced up the nose. The organism then reaches the base of the brain directly.
In Australia's hotter regions children should not be allowed to swim in poorly chlorinated swimming pools or stagnant waterholes, particularly on very hot days. Young children should be discouraged from playing with hoses that may force water up their noses.
The "Amoebic Meningitis" brochure is available as a pdf file below and provides further information about the disease and preventative measures.
Amoebic Meningitis Brochure 2005 (86.1kb pdf)