Louisiana officials have cautioned residents to be careful after a deadly brain-eating amoeba was found in a parish water supply.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced that the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish.
The microscopic amoeba can be deadly if contaminated water travels through the nose to the brain. The microscopic pathogen can cause a deadly form of meningitis that or a swelling of the brain and surrounding tissues.
The amoeba cannot be contracted from drinking contaminated water, officials said.
The water system where the amoeba was found serves 12,577 people in three Louisiana towns.
While the source of the contamination was not found, officials said that they found the water supply did not have the required level of chlorine disinfectant and was vulnerable to contamination from Naegleria fowleri.
There have been no reports of infections from the amoeba in the area.
To kill the dangerous pathogens the department will flush the system with extra high levels of the chlorine for sixty days to kill any lingering amoebas in the system. The water will still be safe to drink.
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