Brain-eating amoeba: A fatal brain-eating amoeba has taken the life of another victim in under a month, a 4-year-old child who was playing on a water slide in Louisiana, with the plastic slide believed to be the site where he contracted the deadly parasite. The 4-year-old is said to have likely ingested some of the shallow, warm water while playing, and the tainted water contained Naegleria fowleri, the rare amoeba, CNN reports this Saturday, Sept. 7.
A brain-eating amoeba sounds deadly in itself, and while highly uncommon, recent attacks on child victims from this fatal parasite have worried the public and health officials alike in past weeks. The 4-year-old while visiting St. Bernard Parish is thought to have come into contact with the amoeba — one that enters through the nose and attacks the brain, killing its cells — while playing on a toy water slide outside a Louisiana house, which took his life only days later.
Several water samples recovered from the home tested positive for the brain-eating amoeba. Health officials have since intervened and following a pattern of an “abundance of caution,” added the report, is having its entire water system doused with small amounts of chlorine and treated with strong flushing treatments in an attempt to rid itself of the parasite. Though small changes in taste and smell may result, it will now be safe to drink.
The name and identity of the 4-year-old child who had his life taken by the brain-eating amoeba have not been revealed at this time. The plastic toy water slide has also been seized for further tests.
"We are working with the parish to make sure precautionary measures are being taken while we await additional test results on samples taken from the area's water system," said a member of the Louisiana region’s Health Department.
A brain-eating warning was also issued by Florida just last month, so experts advise to avoid shallow and warm waters, and wear a nose plug when swimming to avoid the deadly parasite, Naegleria Fowleri.