- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DONALDSONVILLE, La. (AP) - The Department of Health and Hospitals says brain-eating amoeba has been found in a water system serving about 1,800 people in a community north of Donaldsonville.

Ascension Parish officials were notified Tuesday and agreed to raise chlorine levels for 60 days to eliminate any Naegleria fowleri amoebas remaining in Consolidated Utility District 1, the department said in a news release.

DHH said the amoeba was found at one of four testing sites in the district. That site also did not meet the level of chlorine disinfectant required since 2013. The other sites met that chlorine level and did not have any Naegleria fowleri, it said.

The department said the water is safe to drink, but people should avoid getting it up their noses. That includes supervising children who are playing with hoses or sprinklers to make sure they don’t squirt water up their noses. Another precaution is running bath, shower taps and hoses for five minutes before using them - especially the first time after the utility boosts disinfectant levels.

The department checks public drinking water systems for the amoeba each summer when temperatures rise.

So far it has tested 12 other systems. The only other amoebas were found at a cracked test station in St. Bernard Parish, which has begun a chlorine burn.


Online: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/prevention.html

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