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Posted: August 17, 2015

Brain-eating amoeba detected in Louisiana parish’s water system

Naegleria fowleri (brain eating ameba) 
Naegleria fowleri (brain eating ameba) 

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk


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The Naegleria fowleri amoeba,  known as the “brain-eating amoeba,” has been detected in an area of Terrebonne Parish, according to a local report

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Local emergency officials said the amoeba was in a water sample taken from a hydrant on Aug. 5, 2015.

The water district “will begin a 60-day chlorine burn to help ensure that any remaining amoeba in the system are eliminated,” according to WDSU.  
Health officials said it was okay to use the water — but at the same time, residents were told not to get water up the nose while bathing, showering or using the bathroom sink.

Other precautionary measures also aim to keep water out of the nose. Read more here

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is a tiny organism that infects people when “contaminated water enters the body through the nose.”

The CDC writes, “Once the ameba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis, which is usually fatal.”

In short, the amoeba feeds on the brain, destroying it.

A news release went on to explain, “These disease-causing organisms are naturally present in most lakes, ponds, and rivers but multiply rapidly in very warm and stagnant water. Persons may be exposed to Naegleria fowleri amoeba when they dive or submerge their head in contaminated water.”

A CDC report downplays the risk of having a problem.

“There have been 35 reported infections in the U.S. in the 10 years from 2005 to 2014, despite hundreds of millions of recreational water exposures each year,” it begins. “By comparison, in the 10 years from 2001 to 2010, there were more than 34,000 drowning deaths in the United States.”

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