CNN reports that officials decided to do additional testing on the water supply in DeSoto Parish after the death of a 4-year-old boy last month. They choose DeSoto Parish because a 51-year-old woman died of the infection caused by the amoeba in 2011. In response to the new findings, officials say they are planning to treat the parish's water supply over the next two months.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said residents may notice a change in the taste of their water over the treatment period, but stressed that the “water will remain safe to drink.”
Reports indicate that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed the amoeba's presence.
State health officer Jimmy Guidry says residents can protect themselves from the amoeba by preventing water from going up their nose while bathing or swimming. Guidry stressed that it's safe to drink water because the amoeba “cannot infect … through the stomach.”
The symptoms of an amoeba infection are headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and a stiff neck. If you suspect that you or someone you know may be infected you should seek medical treatment right away.
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