CDC: DeSoto Parish water tests negative for Naegleria after uping chlorine levels

In a follow-up to a report where Louisiana officials raised the chlorine levels in the DeSoto Parish water system after the ameba, Naegleria fowleri was discovered in the water, the state Department of Health and Hospitals reported Wednesday that the water in the parish now tests negative for the parasite.

brain-eating amoeba

Naegleri fowleri Image/CDC

DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1 was one of two water systems in Louisiana that tested positive for the rare ameba last year. Following a chlorine burn and a state mandate that required the parish to maintain a 1.0 milligram per liter free chlorine residual throughout the system for 60 days, DHH took two water samples from 10 locations along the system in early January. Testing by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed this week that all 20 samples were negative for the rare ameba, which has killed three people in Louisiana since 2011.

DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert said, “Our team has worked closely with the leaders from the water system to come up with a plan to protect the system’s customers by controlling the ameba.. While the water was always safe to drink, these test results give us confidence that it is safe for all uses.”

Assistant Secretary for Public Health JT Lane said, “We are encouraged by these test results, which show that maintaining a certain free chlorine or chloramine residual in water systems can control this ameba and protect families. This is why DHH issued an emergency rule last year that we believe will make the water that we drink, bathe and play in safer.”

Out of an abundance of caution, DHH will conduct additional sampling and testing in DeSoto parish later in the year as temperatures grow warmer, making water more inviting for the ameba. DHH still encourages people to take precautions, including using commercially distilled water or tap water that has been boiled and then cooled, when they are using a Neti pot for a sinus rinse.

Later this month, DHH will collect water samples for testing at from St. Bernard parish’s water system, which also had positive ameba test results in 2013 and has also been under a DHH mandate to increase the level of chlorine in its system. The Department will send these samples for testing by the CDC and will announce the results of these tests when they are available. Until this time, DHH recommends that St. Bernard parish residents continue to take precautions to avoid getting water deep inside their noses.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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