The water system that serves Reserve, Garyville, and Mount Airy, Louisiana has tested positive for a potentially deadly brain-eating bacteria, the state Department of Health and Hospitals said this week.
Officials say the Naegleria fowleri
amoeba was found in samples taken from St. John the Baptist Parish's Water District No. 1, which serves 12,577 people in those east bank communities, the Times-Picayune
No illness from the bacteria have been reported, but officials warned residents to take precautions against getting water in their nasal passages, which is how the amoeba can move to the brain.
"Families can take simple steps to protect themselves from exposure to this amoeba, the most important being to avoid allowing water to go up your nose while bathing or swimming in a pool," state health officer Jimmy Guidry. "It is important to remember that the water is safe to drink; the amoeba cannot infect an individual through the stomach."
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