Health experts and officials have identified a deadly parasite in the Terrebonne Parish Water System, Louisiana. They discovered that the water was contaminated with a so-called “brain-eating amoeba.”
The Naegleria fowleri parasite thrives in fresh still water basins and it is an opportunistic parasite, which means that it is normally free living but if given the change to contaminate an animal or a human, it will jump at the opportunity.
A controlled chlorine-burn will be conducted to kill off the organism. In July, both Saint Bernard and Ascension Parishes found evidence of the amoeba. Fortunately, no one in south-east Louisiana has been contaminated up to this moment. Officials are inputting safety precautions by continuing the chlorine-burn in those areas.
The Terrebonne Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reported that this lethal microorganism was discovered in a water sample from the Terrebonne Consolidated Waterworks District No. 1.
The testing of the waterline was performed on August 5th. The brain eating amoeba has been detected in the water from a hydrant in Point Aux Chenes.
To be more precise, the chlorine-burn intervention will be conducted through 60 days, so that officials will be sure to have wiped out every trace of this brain-eating parasite.
The authorities have pointed out that the tap water is completely safe to drink. However, locals are advised not to get water in their noses. It is alarming that this dangerous amoeba could make its way through water systems in locals’ homes.
These deadly amoeba water infestations may occur in summers when temperatures are high enough, despite the fact that they are extremely rare.
The Department of Health and Hospitals in Louisiana said that this particularly nefarious amoeba causes a brain infection which results in the destruction of brain tissue. The illness is called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is similar to bacterial meningitis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised residents of the areas to take safety precautions until the area is declared Naegleria fowleri free, which mainly include avoiding water from going up their noses, in all possible situations, ranging from baths and washing up to swimming pools.
Neti pots should only be filled with boiled and cooled water or even better yet, with sterile solutions. Since children are particularly vulnerable to this illness, they should receive special attention during this period, because explaining the dangers of the brain eating parasite to them will prove to be especially difficult.
Hopefully, Terrebonne Parish will be rid of this vicious parasite at the end of the 60 days, so that their lives can go back to normal.
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