Ellendale Pool Camp Site -Amoebic meningitis Danger
Camping at Ellendale Pool
Are you thinking of camping at Ellendale Pool ? Ellendale Pool is a stunning water hole naturally formed along the picturesque Greenough River 47 km east of Geraldton via Ellendale Rd. Bring a gas/fuel stove and drinking water .I have been wanting to go there over summer for a swim but I am glad we didn't drive up in 42 degrees for a swim as it would have been a wasted trip.
We called in there yesterday for a coffee & swim & it looked beautiful as it is surrounded by magnificent Gum trees and a rocky gorge.
However there were big warning signs about the danger of catching Amoebic Meningitus from the water & as my husband has a weak heart after a heart attack + a sore on his chin we stayed out of the water much to our dissapointment.
If you are feeling energetic climb the rocky peak from the creek that flows from Ellendale Pool. Stop for a picnic lunch or stay the night at the camp site. Campers can swim( If water cool enough under 24 degrees ) or canoe the waterways or relax in this captivating place to the sounds of the abundant birdlife that inhabit the area.
It is $5 a night for camping and if the water was safe or you are not a swimmer it is a great place for camping.
What is Amoebic Meningitis ?
Amoebic meningitis is a very serious illness that is an infection of the brain and the membranes covering the brain, almost always ends in death. It is caused by a tiny organism called an amoeba which can live in geothermal pools. The amoeba can be picked up through the nose when a person puts their head under water in a geothermal pool.
. Amoebic meningitis is more serious than other forms of meningitis because treatment is not usually successful. With other types of meningitis early treatment can save lives.
Most meningitis is caused by bacteria or viruses. Even meningitis that occurs after swimming in a geothermal pool is most likely to be caused by a bacteria or virus, rather than the amoeba. Only a hospital test can show what type of meningitis is present.
Early symptoms of all types of meningitis are:
Symptoms of amoebic meningitis usually start 3-7 days after swimming in a geothermal pool. If you have these symptoms see your doctor immediately.
How Is Amoebic Meningitis Passed On To People?
The amoeba usually lives in warm soil. It can get into geothermal pools when soil is washed into a pool by rain, wind or in direct contact with the pool if it isn't lined by concrete, or carried into the pool on someones feet,
If the pool is not chlorinated (that is, not treated with chemicals to kill organisms), the amoeba can survive in the geothermal water. When a person puts their head under water, the amoeba can, in rare cases, enter the nose and travel along the nerves to the brain. The amoeba then invades the brain causing swelling and death.
The risk of the amoeba getting to the brain is much greater if the water is forced up the nose, eg, when a person jumps or dives into the water.
Check your Swimming Pools
Amoebic Meningitis Alert in Geraldton
The Department of Health has reminded Geraldton and surrounding residents of the increased risk of catching amoebic meningitis in hot weather.
Environmental Health Director Jim Dodds said the warning was prompted by forecasts of continuing high temperatures in the regions.
Residents could be at risk when using recreational waters, such as swimming pools, dams and lakes.
Amoebic meningitis was a rare but potentially fatal disease, which was contracted when water contaminated with the amoeba entered the nose.
“The amoeba thrives in warm water temperatures between 28oC and 40oC,” he said.
“In the hot weather, pool and spa owners should take extra precautions and are advised to closely monitor and check that chlorine levels are within a safe range.
“Water in splasher or wading pools should also be changed after each use as it provides a perfect environment for the amoeba to grow.”
Mr Dodds said the risk of amoebic meningitis could be reduced by taking some very simple precautions, such as:
· Staying out of hazardous water (i.e. dirty pools, spas, waterholes, dams)
· Ensuring pools are kept clean, free of dirt and leaves, and properly chlorinated
· Testing water in swimming pools at least twice a day
· Making sure pools that do not use a stabiliser contain at least two milligrams per litre of
chlorine and four milligrams per litre where stabiliser is used
· Making sure pH levels are kept between 7.2 and 7.6
· Keeping wading pools clean and only using the water once.
Symptons of Meningitus
Geothermal pools contain geothermal water – that is, warm water that comes from the earth in geothermal regions like Taupo, Rotorua and some other parts of the country.
Geothermal water can be found in natural outdoor pools, and in commercial pools such as public swimming pools or spas in hotels, motels, health centres and gyms. Some geothermal pools can be found in private homes.
Camping at Ellendale Pool