Louisiana officials have confirmed that St. Bernard Parish’s waterline has been infected with the brain eating amoeba and they are now making sure that all the necessary preventative measures are being taken, so that the people can be kept safe.
The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) has decided to implement a 60-day chlorination procedure, so that the water could be rid of the dangerous amoeba. The water will be tested again at the end of the 60-day period and it will be determined whether or not additional measures are necessary.
“We trust their expertise in this field. We do we feel that the system is fine and this was an anomaly,”said David Peralta, the President of St. Bernard Parish.
The most important fact that St. Bernard Parish locals need to be aware of is that they can only get sick if the contaminated water enters their noses. This means that the water from the public waterline remains safe for drinking and that they need to take all the necessary precautions so that water does not enter their noses.
The disease is manifested through flue-like symptoms in its initial stages and serious headaches that get worse and worse. Since there are no specific symptoms for the disease, it is extremely difficult to diagnose. Also, since medical treatment proves unable to save the patients most of the time, the best way to deal with the disease is to prevent it as best as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a set of rules that the locals are advised to be aware of and to put into action, so that they can stay safe from the brain eating amoeba.
Until the water system is declared safe, locals should not allow water from the public system to enter their noses under any circumstances. This includes showering and regular washing of the face. Also, small plastic pools need to be handled with special care, because they facilitate the water getting into the noses of children.
The proper way of using these pools is washing them properly after use, disinfecting them and leaving them out to dry completely. Furthermore, proper pools should be kept clean and chlorine-based solutions should be added to the water.
Jumping into pools or baths should be avoided because it puts people at great risk of getting contaminated with the amoeba, due to the high pressure that enables the parasite to enter the nasal cavity.
Neti pots should be filled with water that was boiled and cooled or sterile saline solution, as filling these with contaminated water would constitute high risk behavior. Nasal cleansing solutions used for children should be procured from drug stores, at least until the waterline is cleared, as children are especially sensitive to the brain eating amoeba.
The CDC also advises people to avoid as much as possible to enter water basins that are not treated and cleaned, such as ponds and lakes that have not been cleared for bathing by the authorities, so as to keep safe from the brain eating amoeba.
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