Thursday, October 10, 2013

Louisiana public water system has brain-eating amoeba

English: Stages of Naegleria fowleri, a member...
Trophozoites of Naegleria fowleri in brain tis...

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the presence of a rare brain-eating amoeba in five test locations of a northwest Louisiana water system.

No known cases of illness related to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba have been reported this year in DeSoto Parish, where DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1 in Grand Cane, La., had the contaminated specimens, the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals said Tuesday. The water system, one of 14 in the parish, was tested because the area had one of two Naegleria fowleri-related deaths in the state in 2011.

Beginning Wednesday, the water system, which serves almost 5,000 customers, started flushing its pipes with additional chlorine for the next 60 days to kill the amoeba.

"We are working closely with the water system and parish officials to ensure that the chlorine levels are increased to a level that will eliminate the risk of exposure to the amoeba," said J.T. Lane, the department's assistant secretary in the Office of Public Health. "Water from the DeSoto Parish Water Works District No. 1 remains safe to drink." Read more >>

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