Health officials in Louisiana recently confirmed that the so-called brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, had been found in the municipal water systems of North Monroe and Schriever. The water is perfectly safe to drink, say experts, but people should avoid getting water in their noses.
The Louisiana Department of Health, which routinely tests for the parasite, says that it has requested local water officials switch to a different disinfection protocol to help kill any organisms.
What Naegleria fowleri Is
Naegleria fowleri is a freshwater amoeba that, if inhaled, can travel up the nose to the brain, where it causes a nearly-always fatal brain infection known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis, or Naegleriasis.
Naegleriasis is fatal in more than 95% of people who contract it.
What Residents Of Affected Communities Should Do
Louisiana Department of Health, or LDH, says that the amoeba will be eradicated once the affected communities switch to an effective disinfection system. In the meantime they urge people to refrain from any activity which could introduce water into the nose. They recommend keeping your pool, hot tub or spa disinfected to a certain standard and not allowing children to play with garden hoses, sprinklers or slip-n-slide-type toys.
They also advise not using neti pots or similar devices that were prepared with unboiled tap water.
You can read all the recommendations, including advice for pool owners, here.