BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Medical investigators believe a boy contracted a deadly amoeba infection playing on a plastic waterslide during a visit to southern Louisiana, officials say.
The Louisiana Health Department said the boy, who has died, became infected with the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, a single-celled organism that eats into the brain, CNN reported. He was the third child infected with the parasite this summer, the others being a Florida boy who died and an Arkansas girl who survived.
While state health officials released no information about the boy, St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta told WWL-TV, a CNN affiliate, he believes the boy is a 4-year-old from Mississippi. Peralta said the amoeba was found in water at the home where the boy was visiting.
J.T. Lane, an assistant secretary for public health, said St. Bernard began putting additional chlorine in its water Thursday and flushed all potentially contaminated water out of its system.
Naegleria fowleri infection is very rare. Only 32 deaths were recorded in the United States in the decade ending in 2010.