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Rare amoeba found in 1 water system in Louisiana

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Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba that causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis. Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba that causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis. Image source: CDC.gov

   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.

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