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Deadly Amoeba Found in Louisiana Suburb Water Supply

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Lauren Lopez4 years ago

According to Fox News, a rare but deadly brain-eating amoeba has been found by scientists in a suburb of New Orleans. A four year-old child was infected with the amoeba in the suburb, St. Bernard’s Parish, last month after playing on a slip-and-slide. Tests have confirmed that the amoeba was present at the home where he was playing. The boy’s death is third since 2011 that is connected with the dangerous amoeba.

Deadly Amoeba Found in Louisiana Suburb Water Supply

  • State officials report that the cause of death of the four year-old boy who was visiting a home in St. Bernard's Parish was a brain infection known as encephalitis, which is caused by the microorganism aegleria fowleri.
  • The amoeba was discovered in four locations of St. Bernard’s Parish's water system after the boys death.
  • Officials report that the water is safe to drink, but getting water deep into the nasal passage should be avoided as this is how the amoeba is contracted.

Precautions Taken Following Boy's Death

  • In response of the child’s death and the positive test results for the amoeba, St. Bernard’s Parish has taken precautions and began flushing its water systems with extra chlorine. The flushing will continue for several weeks.
  • According to the Parish President, this be taking place until he is fully confident that enough flushing has been done to prevent another tragedy.
  • There are other parishes that are responding to the amoeba scare by flushing their own systems as well. But one parish president holds that this is just a precautionary measure and that there is no reason to fear that the water is unsafe.
About the Naegleria fowleri Amoeba

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Aegleria fowleri is a single cell organism commonly referred to as the brain eating amoeba..
  • The ameba is commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil.
  • Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose after which it can cause a rare and most often fatal infection, primay amebic meningeoncephalitis.
  • While the organism is typically found in contaminated fresh water sources like lakes and ponds, it can sometimes be found in contaminated water from sources such as swimming pools and tap water.
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