Changing water treatment guidelines because of deadly amoeba
Dave Cohen Reporting
The deadly brain eating amoeba has never been found in drinking water in the U.S. before; but now that it's been confirmed in St. Bernard and DeSoto Parishes, Louisiana's State Health Officer says changes are coming to water treatment in all parishes.
"We're telling water systems across Louisiana they need to be checking their chlorine... and need to be increasing that," Dr. Jimmy Guidry told WWL First News.
He says the feds are sharing a similar message about chlorine across the country.
"We have CDC and EPA saying, 'We need to look at recommended levels."
Even though it has killed two people in St. Bernard and one in DeSoto since 2011, Guidry stresses that the deadly parasite is still very rare.
"There's only been 32 cases in the past ten years," he notes. That's nationwide.
Guidry says everyone should expect to start smelling more chlorine in their water because current levels are enough to kill bacteria, but not the amoeba. He says it is especially a concern at the extremities of a water distribution system furthest from the treatment plant.
Experts say the amoeba can only kill you if the water gets way up your nose.