One of Perth’s most beloved swimming spots has been closed indefinitely after a “brain eating amoeba” was detected.

WA’s Parks and Wildlife Service closed Serpentine Falls on Tuesday afternoon until further notice, stating the water was unsafe to swim in.

It’s understood that recent water sampling detected the presence of Naegleria Fowleri, often referred to as “brain-eating amoeba” and can cause amoebic meningitis, which is fatal.

“Infection occurs where water is forced into a person’s nose at pressure from jumping, falling or diving into the water,” the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale said on its website.

The “amoebae can then make their way up the nerves to the brain,” the Department of Health warns, which can cause “inflammation and destruction of brain tissue.”


Children and young adults are most at risk.

Symptoms, which can potentially happen within five days of infection, include:

  • Severe headaches
  • High fever
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Neck stiffness
  • Confusion and hallucinations
  • Drowsiness and coma

Anyone who has experienced symptoms after swimming at Serpentine Falls are urged to contact a medical professional.