More popular family swimming spots have been closed in WA over fears of a deadly “brain-eating” bug.
Drakesbrook Weir, 100km south of Perth in the Shire of Waroona, was shut by local authorities this week. The shire said recent scorching weather had taken a toll on water quality and it is now waiting on testing results, hopeful it can rule out naegleria fowleri, which thrives in heat.
Inhaling the microscopic monster, which is commonly known as the “brain-eating amoeba”, can cause a rare infection known as amoebic meningitis.
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It can be fatal and children are most at risk.
“Temporary health warning signs are being posted around Drakesbrook Weir,” the shire said.
“For your safety, the shire advises people not to swim in Drakesbrook Weir until further notice.”
It comes after the Shire of Harvey urged the community to avoid swimming in Brunswick Pool, 50km south of the weir, after naegleria fowleri was detected during a routine water quality test.
Signage was installed to warn visitors after the free-living amoeba was found on January 8.
“The risk of contracting amoebic meningitis is low, and the signs are a proactive measure to ensure public safety,” the shire said.“The environmental health services team will continue to monitor the Brunswick Pool and will remove the signs when deemed safe for swimming.”
Mullaloo Beach was closed by ‘sea sawdust’. Credit: 7NEWS
Just this week a popular Perth beach was shut following the discovery of trichodesmium, an algae identified by a yellow-brown surface scum.
It is not considered a threat to humans but can cause the skin to become irritated.
Swimmers were told to rinse it off under water if they come into contact with it.
Authorities said the bloom, which is commonly referred to as sea sawdust, likely formed off the back of scorching and calm conditions experienced in Perth in recent days.