Brain-eating amoeba found in water supply of New Orleans suburb

  • The amoeba was found in the water supply  in four separate locations
  • Testing was done after a four-year-old  boy died after contracted the deadly organism on a slip and  slide
  • Despite being filled with deadly amoebas,  the water is safe to drink, according to officials

By  Ryan Gorman

PUBLISHED: 13:16 EST, 16  September 2013 |  UPDATED: 13:17 EST, 16 September 2013

The notorious brain-eating amoeba responsible  for multiple deaths has been found in the suburban New Orleans water  supply.

Found last week in St Bernard Parish, LA., to  the east of New Orleans, officials began testing for the amoeba after a child  died of encephalitis. Officials insist the water is safe to drink, but are  flushing the supply with increased levels of chlorine to be safe.

The Parish supervisor even drank tap water  during a televised interview to prove the point, though he did look a little  uneasy after swallowing.

Killer: This brain eating amoeba, found in a suburban New Orleans public water supply, killed a four-year-old boy 

Killer: This brain eating amoeba, found in a suburban  New Orleans public water supply, killed a four-year-old boy


‘Two sites from fire hydrants came up with  the presence and two sites at water bibs, which is the water facets at people  houses,’ Peralta explained to  WWL.

Conducted after a four-year-old boy died  after contracting the lethal amoeba while on a slip and slide, authorities  confirmed the amoeba was found in four locations tested from the municipal water  supply.

‘It was the only time where he was in contact  with some water that could have penetrated all the way up into his nose,’  Louisiana State Epidemiologist Raoult  Ratard said.

‘If there is even the slightest risk, I have  to treat it and I have to treat the entire system,’ Parish President Dave  Peralta told Fox 8, explaining the increased levels of chlorine in the  supply.

The Parish head further explained that the  testing shouldn’t be a complete cause for concern. ‘Not  all of the sites that the CDC tested came back positive,’ he told Fox  8.

Further defending the Parish’s water supply,  Peralta said ‘this parasite exists all over, it’s not unique to St. Bernard  Parish.’


Would you drink this water?: Officials insist it is safe  to drink, despite being filled with brain eating amoebas



For now, officials are cautioning locals to  be cautious with sprinklers, slip and slides and pools.

‘You just have to be a little more careful,’  said Mr Ratard.

‘The only way you can get the amoeba is to  get inside the nose,’ Mr Ratard explained  to WGNO.

‘Yes your nose. It`s got to go up your nose,’  local Edgar Brown said to WGNO. ‘That could happen in the shower you know? I`m  trying to be very careful.’

Actions speak louder: Parish President Dave Peralta drank a glass of tap water on television to prove it's safe 

Actions speak louder: Parish President Dave Peralta  drank a glass of tap water on television to prove it’s safe


‘When you take a shower water usually goes  down. It does not go up.’ Mr Ratard confirmed to WGNO. ‘If you take a bath,  don`t put your head under water. You want to be sure the amoeba is not there?  You make sure there is enough chlorine in the water.’

Almost 120 people have died of the deadly  organism since the early 1960s, most notably a 12-year-old Florida boy this  summer.

Local schools have turned off water fountains  and closed pools as a precaution.

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