Louisiana Water Supply Threatened by Brain-Eating Amoeba

Louisiana Water Supply Threatened by Brain-Eating Amoeba

A potentially fatal, brain-eating amoeba has invaded the water supply of a Louisiana parish. The same amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, killed a 4-year-old boy in St. Bernard Parish last month; it was also linked to the death of another boy in Florida earlier in the summer. 

While officials say the water is safe to drink, they're warning residents to keep it from going up their noses. The amoeba reportedly travels to the brain through your nose, resulting in a slow death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, signs of infection include vomiting, nausea, fever, and headache. The late stages of infection include hallucinations, seizures and death in as little as 12 days. 

Though the fatality rate is 99 percent, CNN reports that 12-year-old Kali Hardig of Arkansas survived after being administered an experimental drug. Louisiana officials have told residents that the threat will remain for the next few weeks, as the amoeba has been able to survive due to low levels of chlorine in the water.

[via Gawker]

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Tags: louisiana, naegleria-fowleri
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