Brain-eating amoeba found in public water supply

Wikipedia entry on amoebas was written by a clown.

Wikipedia entry on amoebas was written by a clown.

If I was to make a list of things I never want to encounter it would look something like this:

  • Brain-eating amoebas
  • Ex-wife turned IRS agent

As you can see, a brain-eating amoeba is No. 1 on the list, and the most likely since I don’t yet have an ex-wife.

In Louisiana, however, the threat of a brain-eating microorganism is very real.

CNN reports the death of a 4-year-old boy has been blamed on the rare single-celled animal. Tests conclude the St. Bernard Parish water supply contains ‘Naegleria fowleri,’ which is found in hot springs and other warm fresh water, most often in the southwest U.S.

The Louisiana parish’s water is safe to drink, but getting water in the nose may allow the amoeba to travel to the brain where it begins eating. Less than 1 percent of patients survive the infection.

Chlorine kills the amoeba, but apparently the Louisiana water system had let chlorine levels dip too low.

I was reading the Wikipedia entry on amoebas and was startled to read that they are “organisms that yolo all over the place.” Someone needs to fix that.

In 2003, two children died after contracting the amoeba in the only other public drinking water case ever reported in the U.S.

Since the amoeba does live in lakes, rivers, streams and other natural bodies of warm water, the CDC suggests the following:

  • Avoid swimming in fresh water when the water temperature is high and the water level is low.
  • Hold your nose shut or use nose clips while swimming.
  • Avoid stirring up the sediment while wading in shallow, warm freshwater areas.
  • If you are irrigating, flushing or rinsing your sinuses (for example, by using a neti pot), use water that has been distilled or sterilized.

The next time I am in a lake or taking a shower in St. Bernard Parish I may have to jam chlorine tablets in my nostrils.

Here’s some more news I discovered before shuttin’  ‘er down Friday:

22 comments Add your comment

[...] confirmsNOLA.comBrain amoeba found in tests of water supply where boy died in LouisianaCNNWWL -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -The Advocateall 31 news [...]

Don't Tread

September 13th, 2013
3:23 pm

Does the web browser extension accept additional entries as defined by the user? That would be AWESOME!! I could add Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, Lindsey Lohan, Jesse and Al, George Zimmerman, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and let’s not forget….0bama.

I’m sure I’ll think of a few more to add…

Mayor Kassim Reed

September 13th, 2013
3:26 pm

I got my Knee Grow buddies mo millions for der churches. See me smiling on the front page. You whiteys will NEVA wakes up.

[...] water system tests positive for rare brain-eating amoeba, CDC confirmsNOLA.comCNN -WWL -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 32 news articles » Health – Google NewsBe Sociable, Share! [...]

[...] water system tests positive for rare brain-eating amoeba, CDC confirmsNOLA.comCNN -WWL -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 32 news [...]

Donna Outlaw

September 13th, 2013
4:53 pm

This amoeba is found in most, if not all, warm fresh water, especially is slow moving ir stagnant and I lived in Georgia when it was found there so don’t feel safe because you don’t live in Louisiana.

jerry gardner

September 13th, 2013
5:07 pm

“The next time I am in a lake or taking a shower in St. Bernard Parish I may have to jam chlorine tablets in my nostrils.”

Is this your idea of humor, Mr. Mathis? Guess what, George. You’re the clown.

Bark Like A Dog

September 13th, 2013
5:30 pm

“Is this your idea of humor, Mr. Mathis? Guess what, George. You’re the clown.”

I’ll admit I’m a bad comedian’s dream, but Jerry needs to lighten up a bit.

atlgal

September 13th, 2013
6:31 pm

I also didn’t feel this was an appropriate story to try and stir up laughs for. The death of a child should be a red flag to pass on the jokes.

Kat

September 13th, 2013
7:19 pm

One child, one incident. Everyone else should be okay with it. One Miley Cyrus, one excruciating performance. Everyone else should be okay with it.

Bumper

September 13th, 2013
7:45 pm

“…but apparently the Louisiana water system had let chlorine levels dip too low.”

Exhibit A in the family’s lawsuit against the local water system.

[...] amoeba found in tests of water supply where boy died in LouisianaCNNWWL -LiveScience.com -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 42 news articles » Health – Google NewsBe Sociable, Share! [...]

Mayor Kassim Reed

September 14th, 2013
3:17 am

Hey Larry Torres, screw u in da butt.

Randy

September 14th, 2013
7:51 am

My Dad in 1960 got an amoeba in his stomach that almost killed him. The doctor thought he might have gotten it from a piece of unwashed vegetable or fruit he ate. I would be very afraid of drinking any water that had amoebas in it.

HootyGoot

September 14th, 2013
7:56 am

When I was growing up in rural Polk County Ga. we swam in cow ponds, creeks, rivers, and lakes all around the area, and we never heard of this kind of stuff. I guess all the kids have to swim in chlorinated pools these days.

dlink

September 14th, 2013
9:12 am

People die all the time, modern science/medicine/engineering has simply pinned down what caused it better. All the same, I’ve been swimming for a very long time and no water is going up this nose!

Learned to swim in a chlorinated pool, everyone should do that, even if you don’t think ya can. And cocaine is bad. The old commercials with people’s houses going up their nose? I’ve seen that happen to people and it’s sad.

Donna Outlaw

September 14th, 2013
9:20 am

If you research, you’ll find these amoeba are abundant in fresh water but extremely few have problems with it. The few that DO, had it travel up a nostril and into their brain. This is NOT a new amoeba – “In the 10 years from 2001 to 2010, 32 infections were reported in the U.S.”. Of those cases, 30 people were infected by contaminated recreational water. This is NOT only in Louisiana. In 2013, a girl from Arkansas survived (making her one of the very few that do) by giving her an experimental treatment which they also tried with this little 4 year old. Doctors at first thought it was working but sadly, it ultimately didn’t. Consider how many swim in freshwater each year and you should easily see it’s a very rare occurrence. I always thought those that wore “nose closers” when swimming looked silly but now see they serve a purpose far different from merely wanting to keep water out of one’s nose. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naegleria_fowleri

FM Fats

September 14th, 2013
9:30 am

This is a humor column? Are there no editors at the AJC anymore?

dlink

September 14th, 2013
9:41 am

Humor is one of the best learning tools around.

Always inappropriate, always memorable, that’s why I like it.

MrLiberty

September 15th, 2013
12:23 pm

In one instance after another, the government tells us and brainwashes us into believing that they and only they are capable of taking care of an ever-increasing menu of services and infrastructure-related items. From schools to water, garbage, roads, etc. we are forced to deal with government monopoly provided “service” that consistently comes up lacking, or in this case, deadly. And thanks to the wonderful laws they pass, government officials and employees, along with the government itself, never have to answer either criminally or financially for the damage their negligence or even criminal behavior causes.

Of course the truth is that government is just people, not anything special. They work in buildings, use machines, raw materials, etc. just like every other business, except for one thing. They do not have to compete in the marketplace for their business or their revenue. They simply steal it through property taxes, income taxes, forced fees, etc. As such, customer service does not matter as it would for any private business. Yes, plenty of private businesses don’t really want to compete either, so their use the force and guns of the government to grant them special monopolies (cable, electric, gas, as the most visible examples), but the rest, who operate without “mob” protection, actually have to please customers or they fail.

Not so for government. They can let the roads become a hazard, allow dangerous bacteria to pollute the drinking water, fail year after year to effectively educate children, all content in the knowledge that they will always get their revenue and their “customers” have no other choices and cannot withhold their monies (without potentially deadly consequences).

Every day there is a story about yet another failure of a government monopoly service. And yet most Americans continue to believe that an unaccountable bureaucracy is superior to a competitive business from which they can withhold their money and their support. It is time to bring real accountability back to the products and services we count on, and they only way to do that is to pull these services from the hands of the failed government bureaucracies and open them up to a free and competitive market.

ButtCrackBob

September 16th, 2013
10:56 am

Now we have an answer to the problem with Congress.

coupons

September 19th, 2013
6:09 pm

We have some very good cash saving GoPro to help you get the most out cash.