Log in
Anxiety Support
40,176 members42,348 posts

Water went up my nose now scared of amoeba infection!

Naegleria Fowleri is the name of the organism that can do damage to the brain if it is sniffed in accidentally through the nose. It has a high mortality rate meaning only 3% SURVIVE.

Showering today and water went up my nose and now I am afraid of getting this disease.

I live in the UK but I live in an area where we have a swamp less than a minute away plus there is something wrong with our drainage system as we get drain flies when the weather gets warm (over 25 degrees Celsius). I am trying to calm myself down but I am getting so incredibly scared as everywhere I am reading it says this organism thrives at warm temps and normally is found after a heat wave and has now been found in water faucets because it is working it's way into water systems mainly when there is something wrong with the drainage.

I am so freaked out I would not be if it was winter or if our drain system was good to the point we didn't have drain flies but all of the above apply to me plus having a swamp plus having recently had a heat wave.

I am trying to tell myself it wouldn't happen to me as there have only been three known cases in the UK as it mostly happens in the US and Pakistan; the last reported in the 70s that is in the UK but my mind keeps telling me that anything could happen.

I am really terrified at this moment.

9 Replies

You do know that in the UK the water goes through some really old pipes, that's why they put chlorine in it to protect you from diseases in the water.

1 like

Hi I know but we also have a problem with our drains and our water bill is quite high which indicates that there is a leak or crack in our water supply and drains, we live near a swamp plus we just had a heat wave not too long ago and that is why I am getting more anxious as it is making something irrational sound like it could be a major problem and my anxiety is making me think anything could happen.

I am trying to rest on the idea that this is rare, plus the water is chlorinated, it really never happens in the UK and it has been cooler in the last two weeks. Thanks for your reply.


If you did have this, others would have this too because lots of people get water up their nose. Have there been reports of people in your area coming down with this?

1 like

Hi there has not been not that I know of but my anxiety is forcing this idea that anything could happen because of the heat wave, swamp area and problems with our drains. I'm still anxious but I am trying to calm myself down and tell myself I am being silly. Thanks for your comment.


So sorry you are so scared at the moment. From what I have read :

N.fowleri cannot survive in water that is clean, cool and chlorinated. Free chlorine or chloramines at 0.5mg/L or higher will control N.fowleri, provided that the disinfectant persists through the water supply system.

I wonder if you can ring your shire ? or the Water Corporation in your area to ask if any contaminants like N.fowleri have been reported. I would imagine there would be like a cluster of infections, as I am sure you would not be the only one who has had water go into the nose while showering. I would get reassurance that your water supply is chlorinated ? N.fowleri cannot survive in chlorinated water.

Maybe take a sample of your tap water, best from the source, so from your shower, and take it to a pool shop for sampling. We have a pool here in Perth, West Oz. and we take our pool water for free sampling very often to get sampled especially in the Summer months. The main readings we get are the levels of chlorine / salt / algae in the pool. We use a plastic bottle they gave us, but get a thoroughly clean plastic bottle, you need only about 650mls... it's plenty for them to test.

Can you keep us updated ?


Hi thank you for your comment. I don't know if we can do that in the UK as I guess it is so rare but I will take a sample and go to a pool place and ask them. I will call my water supplier in the UK and ask about this. Plus we do need to see what is wrong with our drains and water supply.

I am still quite anxious especially as my head and ears are aching but I'm guessing that's only happening as my anxiety is starting to kick in at this time. Again thank you for your comment. Do these infections happen regularly in Australia? It is very rare in general but seems to happen more in particular countries.


To be honest, I had never heard of it ! To test for N.fowleri the pool shop is unable to do that as it is a specific test that needs to be done, and because it's so rare I would imagine the Health Department would be the ones to do it. You mentioned that your ears and head are aching, did you get water in your ears when showering ? It's called swimmer's ear when you can hear weird noises coming from your ears. If you tilt your head forward you can often hear popping and cracking. Means water has gotten in a bit deeper and needs to be gotten out. I usually tilt my head to the side, over my shoulder, the side that the blocked ear is on, and then jump up and down with the leg that's the same side as the infected ear, and land with a little thud. It's funny to watch, but it usually fixes it straight away after a few attempts.

I was reading the stats for cases in Australia. There has been four cases in Queensland since 2000. No cases in South Australia since 1981, and there were three cases before 1985 here in West Australia, but none since 1985. Because you live in a developed country like me, the chances are pretty darn low, because of our water treatment. In the USA they say that the odds of being infected is five cases for every billion episodes of recreational water activity.

The articles I've read really only talk about badly chlorinated swimming pools, thermal pools and fresh water bodies, warm bodies of water, very little is mentioned about showering.

I hadn't heard of drain flies before, and from the sounds of it there is no correlation between the presence of drain flies and N.fowleri in water. Sounds like they are common over there, but they are considered more of a nuisance than harmful.

I think you would be displaying symptoms if you were infected, by now. Sore ears are not listed as a side effect of being infected.

1 like

Hello thank you for your reply. It is such a rare kind of disease so that has calmed me down alot. My anxiety has calmed down on the topic in the last couple of days.

Ah yeah water didn't get in my ear this time. I've had that and it gave me an annoying feeling in my head lol. I do get the occasional headache but I think it was mainly because I was so incredibly anxious as this can make me feel lightheaded and get my heart racing.

So it is also incredibly rare in Australia thank goodness.

Thank you so much for your comments they have been so helpful and have calmed me down alot. Thank you.

1 like

Wonderful.. relax and breathe.

1 like

You may also like...