Fla. city bans swimming for health concern

Aug. 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM
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PALM BAY, Fla., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Authorities in Palm Bay, Fla., say they've closed a popular local swimming lake out of fears of a possibly deadly amoeba affecting swimmers.

Palm Bay city officials fear the microscopic amoeba that can cause fatal swelling of the brain and its lining after entering the body through swimmers' noses could be thriving in the warm summer temperatures, WFTV, Orlando, reported Thursday.

Contact with the deadly amoeba, found in all freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers, has resulted in the death of three people in the southeast this summer.

Palm Bay officials say the closure is a precautionary measure, since there is nothing to indicate the water is unsafe at the lake, a popular spot with children during summer.

"The water is tested repeatedly and it comes back safe," Palm Bay spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said.

"Our concern is one of being proactive," she said.

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