BOSSIER PARISH, La. (CBS Local) — A portion of a water system that serves part of south Bossier Parish, Louisiana, has tested positive for a brain-eating amoeba, according to the operator of the water system.
Officials say Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the brain-eating amoeba, was found last week in the Sligo Water System during a routine test done by the state Department of Health. The system was notified of the positive result on Friday, said Andy Freeman, the operator of Sligo Water System.
The amoeba causes a rare and often fatal infection of the brain. It’s commonly found in warm freshwater and soil in southern states. It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. You can’t get infected from swallowing contaminated water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The positive test came from water Sligo had purchased from Bossier City, Freeman said. Sligo has since disconnected from Bossier City water and is now using well water to supply those customers.
Freeman said Sligo normally serves water users with well water, but dry conditions had prompted it to buy Bossier City water.
A spokeswoman for Bossier City said the city complies with and meets all state and federal regulations.
Last month, 29-year-old Fabrizio Stabile of New Jersey died from Naegleria fowleri after visiting the BSR Cable Park’s Surf Report in Waco, Texas.