BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The federal say a rare amoeba that caused the August death of a child in south Louisiana has been found in five locations in a north Louisiana water system.
The state Department of Health and Hospitals said Tuesday the CDC confirmed the presence of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in five places in DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1, which is one of 14 water systems in the parish.
State health officials say there are no known current cases of illness related to the discovery in DeSoto or elsewhere in Louisiana.
The water system said it will begin a free chlorine burn in the system Wednesday to last for 60 days.
DHH began testing the DeSoto system as a precaution after St. Bernard Parish's water system tested positive. DeSoto was the site of one of two 2011 amoeba-related deaths in Louisiana.
LABELLE, Fla. (AP) - Health officials in Florida say a 12-year-old boy is fighting a rare and deadly infection that is attacking his brain.
Family members told media outlets that Zachary Reyna of Southwest Florida was infected with Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic single-celled living amoeba that is commonly found in freshwater lakes, ponds and rivers. State health officials say it can cause a rare brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) that destroys brain tissue and is usually fatal.
Victims typically are exposed to the bug while swimming or doing water sports in warm ponds, lakes and rivers during the hot summer months, mostly in the South.
Family members said the boy was infected while knee boarding with friends in a ditch near his family's LaBelle house on Aug. 3. He is being treated in the intensive care unit at Miami Children's Hospital.