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Amoeba detected in one Houma water system

4 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Monday, August 17 2015 Aug 17, 2015 August 17, 2015 6:40 PM August 17, 2015 in Health
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones

HOUMA - State health officials said tests recently found an amoeba in Houma's Schriever Water System, which serves around 97,000 people in Terrebonne Parish.

The Department of Health and Hospitals said despite the presence of the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, the water is still safe to drink.

DHH tested the water system in Montegut as part of their new public drinking water surveillance program. Health officials instructed the water system to do a 60-day chlorine burn to make sure any amoeba in the system are wiped out.

The health department said the Schriever Water System location didn't meet require disinfectant levels set by a 2013 emergency rule. Water systems in two other parishes, Ascension and St. Bernard, are also doing chlorine burns after the amoeba was detected in their water supply.

Experts say Naegleria fowleri infections are very rare and can cause a brain infection which starts similar to bacterial meningitis, and leads to the destruction of brain tissue. People are asked not to let water go up their nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in outdoor pools. DHH said parents should also not let children play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, and avoid other activities which could lead to water going up their noses.

For full safety and prevention information about Naegleria fowleri, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

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