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Child's Death Linked To Rare Amoeba

DPDx and GS Visvesvara
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Federal and state health regulators have confirmed that a child, who died from encephalitis caused by a rare amoeba, contracted the illness while visiting a home in St. Bernard Parish.

Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals said Thursday that while water samples taken from the home tested positive for the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, initial tests of the parish water system are negative for it.

DHH says some tests showed low levels of chlorine in some areas of the system, so the parish is flushing the system and DHH will perform additional tests.

The rare infection has been associated with three deaths traced to water in Louisiana since 2011. Two people died that year, in addition to the death announced Thursday following testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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