The water system in Reserve, Garyville and Mount Airy has tested positive for a potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba, the state Department of Health and Hospitals said…Officials say the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in samples taken from St. John the Baptist Parish’s Water District No. 1, which serves 12,577 people in those east bank communities.
There are no known cases of illness from the amoeba. But officials warned residents to take precautions against getting water in their nasal passages, which is how the amoeba can move to the brain…
“Families can take simple steps to protect themselves from exposure to this amoeba, the most important being to avoid allowing water to go up your nose while bathing or swimming in a pool,” state health officer Jimmy Guidry. “It is important to remember that the water is safe to drink; the amoeba cannot infect an individual through the stomach.”
The St. John public school system has ordered water fountains turned off at all schools and was taping them up, school system spokeswoman Jennifer Boquet said.
Water District No. 1 was sampled as part of the state’s surveillance program and was found to be out of compliance for maintaining minimum disinfectant levels set to control the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. The state imposed higher disinfectant levels after a 4-year-old boy Mississippi boy contracted the amoeba during a visit to St. Bernard Parish and died.
St. John is now under an emergency order to perform a 60-day free chlorine burn on the water system, in which the water lines are infused with free chlorine. That is a stronger, faster-acting disinfectant than the normal infusion of chloramines, a combination of chlorine and ammonia.
Shouldn’t change the look and smell of Louisiana drinking water a whole boatload. When I lived in New Orleans it was usual to fill your bathtub with water green enough to look like a celebration rehearsal for St.Patrick’s Day.
The amoeba may not kill you; but, the crap the state of Louisiana adds to what passes for drinking water might.