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Ha ha, except I don't like the sound of "brain-eating amoeba." From the current and sadly diminished Times-Picayune:

A chlorine "burn" to flush water lines contaminated by a potentially deadly brain-eating amoeba began Thursday about 7 a.m. in St. John the Baptist Parish and will continue for 60 days, Parish President Natalie Robottom said. The process calls for infusing the water system with pure chlorine, a stronger, faster-acting disinfectant than the normal chloramines, a combination of chlorine and ammonia.

The burn was ordered by the state Department of Health and Hospitals on Wednesday after samples taken from St. John Water District No. 1 indicated the presence of the parasitic Naegleria fowleri amoeba. That water district, known as the Lions water system, serves 12,577 people in Reserve, Garyville, Mount Airy and a small section of LaPlace. The LaPlace areas affected include West 5th Street, from Apricot to Acorn near the DuPont curve and the Belle Pointe subdivision.

St. John is the third parish in the state where the amoeba has been detected in the water system. The organism was found in St. Bernard last year and resulted in the death of a young child, and in 2011 in DeSoto Parish, where two deaths were blamed on the amoeba. The three systems all had "very low or non-existent chlorine levels" where the amoeba was detected, according to state health officials.

"The water is safe to drink. It's safe to bathe," Robottom said. "The main precaution, especially during the holiday weekend with swimming and other water recreation, is to not let water get into your nose, deep into the nasal passage. Splashing water on your face is not a problem."


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quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

(Erm, I'm slow. Don't get the joke. Footnotes, please?)

The brain-eating amoeba is no joke. Naegleria fowleri, in case anyone wants to look up some of the scientific work on it. And I'm freaked out at the thought of them saying it's safe to drink! It normally enters through the mucous membranes high in the nose, where it has a direct route to the brain. But it seems to me that there are plenty of mucous membranes in the throat. What if you got an olympiad amoeba who could make it all the way to the brain from there? I don't know. Maybe that's impossible. But they should sure as hell explain why they're so calm about that possibility!

And then, what about all the neti pot enthusiasts?!