CDC confirms brain-eating amoeba found in Louisiana water supply
Posted on September 13, 2013 at 9:32 AM
ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. - Residents
in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana should be cautious when it comes to
the parish's water supply, according to health officials. Tests confirm
that a brain-eating amoeba that killed a 4-year-old boy last month is
in the parish's water system.
Health officials say the water in St. Bernard Parish is drinkable,
the problem is ingesting it through the nose, but tests show this amoeba
is in several locations in the Parish's water system.
St. Bernard Parish Officials believe the 4-year-old boy died from
encephalitis after contracting the amoeba from a slip and slide.
Last week, testing began on the water supply, now the Center for
Disease Control is saying that four locations in St. Bernard Parish’s
water system, all in Arabi and Violet, tested positive for the amoeba.
Officials urge residents to take precautionary measures, and to remember infection from this amoeba is extremely rare.
The amoeba has been linked to three deaths traced to water in Louisiana since 2011.
Officials say chlorine kills this specific amoeba, and that the
parish is going to keep flushing chlorine into the water system until it
reaches the recommended levels however, that process will take several
The state offered the following health recommendations:
- DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your
nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small
hard plastic/blow-up pools.
- DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small hard plastic/blow-up pools) - walk or lower yourself in.
- DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or
sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid
slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water
going up the nose.
- DO NOT top off by placing the hose in the body of the pool.
- DO run bath and shower taps and hoses for 5 minutes before use
to flush out the pipes. This is most important the first time you use
the tap after the water utility raises the disinfectant level.
- DO keep small hard plastic/blow-up pools clean by emptying, scrubbing, and allowing them to dry after each use.
- DO use only boiled and cooled, distilled, or sterile water for
making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual
- DO place the hose directly into the skimmer box and ensure that the filter is running.
- DO keep your swimming pool adequately disinfected before and during use. Adequate disinfection means:
- Pools: free chlorine at 1-3 parts per million (ppm) and pH
7.2-7.8; Hot tubs/spas: free chlorine 2-4 parts per million (ppm) or
free bromine 4-6 ppm and pH 7.2-7.8; If you need to top off the water in
your swimming pool with tap water,
Residents should continue these precautions until extensive testing
no longer detects the amoeba in the water system. Residents will be made
aware when that occurs.
For information on preventative measures, click here.
Edited by PurpleHaze - Sep 14 2013 at 12:08am