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Louisiana water contaminated with brain-eating amoeba

Water in Louisiana's St. John the Baptist Parish underwent a chlorine burn Thursday after brain-eating amoeba were found in the water system.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued an emergency order Wednesday for the chlorine burn. The order called for elevated chlorine levels to kill the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, which infects the brain. Officials are monitoring the water and say it is now safe to drink.

While the amoeba did not make anyone in the county sick, the amoeba killed a boy in St. Bernard Parish last year. Officials from the DHH discovered during the testing that the water system fell below the required minimum residual level of disinfectant. The department is now investigating why the chlorine levels were below the requirement.

"Clearly, as we get to exactly what has happened in this case, the protocol will be revisited and if changes are necessary we will take care of that," parish President Natalie Robottom told Louisiana's WWLTV.

Though the water is now safe for drinking and cooking, the town recommends using caution over the holiday weekend and keeping the water from entering the nose, in case the amoeba is still present.