INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Brain-eating amoeba found in Louisiana drinking water, officials say

Traces of a deadly brain-eating amoeba were found in a water system in a parish in Louisiana this month, but officials said the water is safe to consume.

The brain-eating amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri is a “single-celled living organism found in warm freshwater and soil,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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The amoeba spawns primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), an infection in the brain that causes the eradication of brain tissue.

The Louisiana Department of Health told water and town officials Thursday that the amoeba was detected in Terrebonne Parish, according to the New York Post. In a statement, the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Water District 1 said the amoeba was found in “our ACR-182, last fire hydrant on Island Road.”

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The water district said the organism was found in the same location that also tested positive in Aug. 2015.

“We changed disinfectants on June 12, 2017, to a free chlorine, and will remain on free chlorine until September 1, 2017,” the statement said.

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The office confirmed that the water is safe to drink but cautioned residents not to let the water go up their nose.