More brain-eating amoeba found in Louisiana

Oct. 9, 2013 at 5:28 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- More deadly brain-eating amoeba have been found in Louisiana, health officials say.

The state Department of Health and Hospitals said Tuesday testing turned up the rare-but-deadly Naegleria fowleri amoeba at five locations in DeSoto Parish, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported. The discovery came after the amoeba was found in St. Bernard's Parish recently.

Both parishes experienced a death from the bacteria in 2011 and a 4-year-old Mississippi boy died after contracting the bacteria while visiting St. Bernard's Parish in August.

There were no known cases of illness from the amoeba in DeSoto Parish where officials were beginning to run more chlorine through the water system in response to the discovery.

St. Bernard has been trying to eliminate the amoeba by flushing its water system with greater amounts of chlorine.

Health officials note drinking contaminated water will not transmit the bacteria because the stomach's acid will kill it. It is transmitted by entering the body through the nose.

CNN reported last month that two other cases were reported in the United States this summer, a Florida boy who died and an Arkansas girl who survived.

There have been 32 deaths recorded in the United States in the decade ending in 2010.

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