Brain-eating AmoebaOK, to those of you who know me, you will say that I am safe from a brain-eating amoeba because it would die of starvation. But seriously, folks... This sounds like a sci-fi movie plot, but it's real. In August, a 4 year-old Mississippi boy died from playing on a "Slip n' Slide" in New Orleans. The cause of death was a rare, brain-eating amoeba. At first, officials thought the amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri, had been present in muddy water that the boy was playing in on the property. Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in freshwater streams, lakes and rivers. But testing confirmed that the microscopic organism came from the St. Bernard Parish water system that fed the slide. THE CITY WATER SUPPLY! Matt Hamilton of The LA Times wrote this about the amoeba on September 21, 2013:
The primary risk of disease is when infected water enters the nose, according to the state's Department of Health and Hospitals. Once in the sinus, the amoeba travels along the nerves and crosses into the brain through tiny openings in the bone at the base of the forehead, Yoder said. Infection by the amoeba, which leads to a form of encephalitis, is rare but almost always deadly. Federal, state and locals official in St. Bernard Parish — a district with about 40,000 residents southeast of New Orleans — are trying to figure out how the brain-destroying amoeba entered the water supply. Possible factors include high temperatures along with low levels of chlorine in the water. Tests last week revealed that chlorine was almost undetectable, officials said.The CDC has documented 132 infections from the Naegleria fowleri amoeba since 1962, almost all of them were fatal. Stomach acid kills the amoeba so tap water is safe to drink, but no one should not let water get up their noses while bathing or swimming in pools. People who flush their sinuses are advised to use water that has been boiled or purified by reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light. This is a classic case of where a whole-house Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection System would kill the Amoeba, as well as a plethora of other bacteria. Peace of mind comes with the installation of a whole-house ultraviolet disinfection system.