A new report reveals startling details about a recently discovered brain-eating amoeba.
If you live in Louisiana, as the Robertsons do, it could be in your water.
The Louisiana’s Department of Health confirmed this week the presence of this amoeba in two water systems in the state.
If consumed, it can cause a rare, but fatal, brain disease.
Health officials say if the amoeba enters through your nose, that’s when you should be alarmed. That’s how it travels to the brain and begins wreaking havoc.
“It’s scary,” said Bernadee Pitre, a Louisiana resident. “[I’m] definitely going to be more careful about that.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say early symptoms of infection are similar to bacterial meningitis, which include headaches, a fever, and nausea. As the disease worsens, the symptoms include stiff neck, seizures, and even hallucinations. Sadly, death occurs in most cases, with the fatality rate of over 97 percent (in the United States).
The most common way to contract the amoeba, according to the CDC, is by swimming or diving in warm freshwater, like lakes or rivers.
The CDC issued a list of warnings, which includes flushing out pipes to allow shower water and hoses to run for at least five minutes before use.
Health officials are advising residents to keep following all precautions “until testing no longer confirms the presence of the amoeba in the water system. The water system will notify residents when that occurs.”
The affected water systems are the Ouachita Parish’s North Monroe Water System and Terrebonne Parish’s Schriever Water System. Fortunately, health officials say you cannot contract the amoeba by drinking the water, only by getting it up your nose.