State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry says customers served by North Monroe Water System should use precaution in light of the prescence of Naegleria fowleri, referred to as the brain-eating amoeba.
Testing results announced Tuesday showed the amoeba was found in a water sample from the Guthrie Street site in Sterlington. About 8,400 residents are served by the North Monroe Water System in the area. North Monroe Water is owned by Greater Ouachita Water System.
Guidry says residents in the affected area should avoid getting water up their nose. "Water getting high up in the nose is how the amoeba could get into the skull." He also recommends against immersing or splashing water to the face when bathing.
Children should be supervised in any recreational activities that involve water. He advises against diving into pools or other bodies of water.
Guidry says the company is planning a 60-day chlorine burn to rid the system of the amoeba. During that time, he says the water will remain safe to drink. "People may be able to taste a slight change as the increased chlorine is introduced into the system," he said.