On July 22, 2015, the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals has issued a warning for the residents of the St. Bernard Parish about a brain-eating amoeba, found in the drinking water of the area.
Called as Naegleria Fowleri, the parasite was found in different tests in two places of the area. To tackle the situation, the local water authority has been instructed to start with increasing the chlorine levels in the water so that the parasite can be dealt with.
This is a special type of amoeba, which is found in warm, fresh waters and is known causing a very rare and grave infection named Amebic Meningoencephalitis.
As per information available from Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), the infection is contracted by those who get water up in their nose, during water based activities and swimming. However, the disease is not contracted by drinking water.
According to reports, two children in Arizona lost their lives in 2003 owing to the parasite. Both the children didn’t have contact with water bodies but contracted the infection while playing in the bath tub.
In fact, recently in 2015, a four-year-old boy lost his life, and tests showed that water from the home and water supply had the parasite.
The CDC confirmed that though the disease is rare, 133 cases have been spotted from 1962 to 2014.
Most infections were seen in children and male patients.
The Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals said that people should avoid getting water up their nose, while people who use neti pots should use sterile water only.
The department also suggested cleaning water toys and pools for children after a single use.