Brain-eating amoeba, a rare disease that’s been in the headlines often this summer, has taken yet another life of a child. According to CNN News on Sept 7, a 4-year-old child in Mississippi most likely contracted the brain-eating amoeba from a toy plastic waterslide in the backyard.
The child was staying at a home in Louisiana at the time he was stricken with the illness, according to St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta. The water samples taken from the home where the child was visiting did test positive for the brain-eating amoeba. This is the same parasite that killed a 12-year-old boy from Florida.
Zachary Reyna lost his fight with the parasite after contracting the brain-eating amoeba while knee boarding in a water-filled ditch near his home. He died after fighting the brain-eating amoeba in the hospital.
This makes three children in the headlines this summer who have been stricken with the brain-eating amoeba, all from playing in the water, which is part of the summer fun. Kali Hardig, who survived her fight with the parasite hails from Arkansas.
Kali contracted the deadly amoeba at a water park that was created around a lake with a sandy bottom. She is one of only three people known to ever survive the parasite, according to ABC Local Arkansas.
The low survival rate demonstrates just how dangerous this parasite is. Drinking water with the parasite won't harm you. The parasite becomes deadly when it enters the nose and travels the nasal passages up to the brain.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals did the testing of the water and found the parasite present at the home. The city reports they’ve decided to treat the water system for St. Bernard Parish, but they are doing this as an overabundance of caution.
Treating the parish’s pipes and lines will entail additional chlorine and flushing any potentially contaminated water from its lines. While the treatment might change the look and smell of the water, it’s still safe to drink, reports parish officials.
Initial tests for the amoeba were negative in the lines and pipes in St. Bernard Parish, but some areas of the city had low levels of chlorine in the water supply. The tests for the amoeba in the water supply may take up to a month to confirm, according to the health department.
The brain-eating amoeba kills “99 percent of the people who get the disease," according to Dr. Dirk Haselow of the Arkansas Department of Health. Dr. Haselow spoke to the media earlier this summer about Kali’s case.