Community flushes water system after rare brain-eating amoeba detected

Published On: Sep 06 2013 07:36:05 AM HST   Updated On: Sep 05 2013 07:00:00 PM HST

St. Bernard parish is flushing its water system after health officials confirmed a 4-year old boy died from a rare brain-eating amoeba.

"All of our tests came back negative," said St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta. "We have ample chlorine in the water. This parasite does not survive in chlorinated water," Peralta said.

Still, parents at a little league practice in the parish Thursday were concerned.

"I do have a lot of worries, but sometimes it’s something that can’t be helped. That happens," said parent Jean Peterson.

Peralta said the child who died is not from St. Bernard but was visiting a home in the Violet area about five weeks ago when he fell ill. Health Officials believe the child may have gotten the parasite, known as the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, after a day of playing outside.

"They suspected that this is the result of the kids playing on the slip and slide for a long period of time and running in and out of the mud and onto the slip and slide. The parasite was transmitted through the nasal passages into the brain," Peralta said.

Naegleria fowleri is a rare infection that has been associated with three deaths traced to water in Louisiana since 2011.

The CDC confirmed that Naegleria fowleri was the cause of the death after specialized testing was conducted.


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