Bill Text: NJ AJR168 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Designates September 21 of each year as "Amoeba Awareness Day" in NJ.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-10-22 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee [AJR168 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-AJR168-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION

No. 168

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 22, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  YVONNE LOPEZ

District 19 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Designates September 21 of each year as "Amoeba Awareness Day" in NJ.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Joint Resolution designating September 21 of each year as "Amoeba Awareness Day" in New Jersey.

 

Whereas, Naegleria fowleri, commonly referred to as the "brain-eating amoeba," is a free-living microscopic amoeba often found in soil and warm fresh water such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs; and

Whereas, Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain where it causes a rare, devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM); and

Whereas, This infection usually occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater bodies of water, like lakes and rivers and can also occur when contaminated water from other sources, such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water enters the nose; and

Whereas, The fatality rate for a person infected with Naegleria fowleri is over 97 percent and only four people out of 143 known infected individuals in the United States from 1962 to 2017 have survived the infection, three of whom were treated with a new drug called miltefosine after being infected; and

Whereas, One example of these tragic fatalities is Fabrizio Stabile of Ventor, New Jersey, who, on September 21, 2018, at age 29, died of PAM after a visit to the wave pool of a Central Texas resort; and

Whereas, Recreational water users should assume that Naegleria fowleri is present in warm fresh water across the United States, including the many freshwater lakes and rivers in New Jersey; and

Whereas, There are no rapid, standardized testing methods to detect and quantitate Naegleria fowleri in water; and

Whereas, Citizens of New Jersey can reduce the risk of Naegleria fowleri infection by avoiding submerging their heads under water or engaging in other water-related activities that cause water to go up the nose; and

Whereas, While the outlook for people who are infected with Naegleria fowleri is poor, early diagnosis and new treatments, such as miltefosine, can increase the chances for survival; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1.      September 21 of each year is designated as "Amoeba Awareness Day" to raise awareness of the presence of Naegleria fowleri in freshwater bodies of water and the steps citizens can take to avoid Naegleria fowleri infection.

 

2.      The Governor is respectfully requested to issue a proclamation recognizing September 21 as "Amoeba Awareness Day" and calling upon public officials and the residents of New Jersey to observe the day with appropriate activities and programs.

 

3.      This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This joint resolution designates September 21 of each year as "Amoeba Awareness Day" in New Jersey to raise awareness of the presence of Naegleria fowleri, commonly referred to as the "brain-eating amoeba," in freshwater bodies of water and the steps the public can take to avoid Naegleria fowleri infection. After symptoms begin, the infection progresses rapidly and usually causes death within five days.

     On September 21, 2018, Ventor, New Jersey resident Fabrizio Stabile died at age 29 after a visit to a wave pool at a Central Texas resort. Mr. Stabile came down with a sudden severe headache while mowing his lawn on September 16. His condition worsened the next day and when his mother went to check on him he could not move or speak coherently and was rushed to an area hospital. Mr. Stabile tested positive for Naegleria fowleri on September 20, the day before he died.

     Although most infections caused by Naegleria fowleri have been fatal, there have been four well-documented survivors in the United States. Three of the survivors were treated with a new drug called miltefosine after being infected. Public awareness of this rare amoeba and its symptoms can increase the likelihood of survival by identifying the symptoms and getting treatment quickly.

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