Brain-Eating Amoeba Found in Louisiana Waterway
Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba that literally eats the brain tissue of animals it infects. The nasty little bug causes a disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). Symptoms usually kick-in about 1-9 days after infection and can include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations - and usually (97% of the time) ends in death. Only 4 people in history have been known to survive an infection. Fortunately, the infection rate is very low in the United States (around 40 per year) due to our excellent water treatment processes. Unfortunately, the microscopic menace has been found in a Louisiana Waterway.
WAFB reports that Workers with Consolidated Waterworks conducted an independent survey in Terrebonne Parish and found the amoeba in a sample taken from the end of a distribution point in Pointe-aux-Chenes. Consolidated Waterworks then contacted engineers with the Louisiana Department of Health with the information, prompting them to change their disinfecting processes in order to defeat the invader.