St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana is undergoing a 60-day chlorine “burn” of its water supply after the deadly amoeba Naegleria fowleri was detected.
This is way scarier than Montezuma’s Revenge, the common term for Amoebic dysentery, which plagues many a first-time tourist to Mexico. If the phrase “Brain-eating amoeba” isn’t scary to you, what is? Naegleria fowleri, the scientific and not-nearly-imposing-enough name for the microbe in question, is showing up in the water supply not of some Third World country but in the United States! Louisiana, to be precise. People in St. Bernard parish don’t have to be afraid of drinking the water, because the brain-eating little bastard is no match for the acid in the human stomach. Rather they have to exercise caution when showering. If water gets up their nose, the amoeba can travel to the brain and, y’know, start eating it.
Infection from the BEA (brain eating amoeba, natch) can be deadly and deadly fast. There are no reports of stricken individuals displaying any type of damaged, zombie-like fugue behavior; this would require a mutation of the pathogen. All the same, local authorities are conducting a “chlorine burn” (whatever that is) to eradicate the BEA. Sounds like a good idea to me. I don’t want to sound flippant about this. Real people have died, and the BEA IS scary as hell, even if the odds of contracting it are miniscule.