New details on brain-eating amoeba found in south Bossier Parish water system

New details released about brain-eating amoeba found in water system

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - There’s new information about that brain-eating amoeba discovered September 28, 2018, during random testing of the Sligo Water system in south Bossier Parish.

Sligo purchased the water from Bossier City, which reports that all of their tests have come back negative for the amoeba.

Now the question becomes exactly how did that deadly amoeba end up in Sligo's water system?

The leading theory is that the amoeba was lingering in Sligo’s unused water pipes until Sligo opened a valve to take in supplemental water from Bossier City. Now the Sligo Water System is using well water to supply those 400 customers. And it is also taking action to make sure no one gets sick.

This is what's causing so much fear about the water in south Bossier Parish - naegleria fowleri, or brain-eating amoeba.

This microscopic, single-celled organism is commonly found in bodies of warm, fresh water, especially during the hot summer.

Late Friday afternoon, September 28, random testing came back positive for the amoeba on a portion of the Sligo Water System, between Highway 71 to Red Chute Bayou along Sligo road.

Sligo had purchased the water from Bossier City. "Going into a line that had not been flushed prior to the Bossier water going into it," explained Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso.

Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the medical director for the Louisiana Health Department agrees, explaining that the amoeba was very likely in the pipes of that unused water line.

Speaking to us by phone Dr. Guidry told us, "When we found this we let the water system know. They automatically increased the amount of chlorine in the water. They're going to do that for at least 60 days."

The amoeba infects people when it enters the body through the nose and later the brain. You cannot get infected by swallowing the water.

Some of the 400 water customers affected by this amoeba scare live in the Plantation Acres Mobile Home Park, just off Sligo Road in south Bossier Parish.

At first blush you might think a lot of people here would be very concerned about this brain-eating amoeba. But that is not what we discovered. In fact, we found just the opposite.

That includes the reaction from Norman McClung, who's lived at this mobile home park for the last 23 years and never had a problem with the water.

"I'm 88 years old. I'm not worried about it. and I drank the water. I still drink it. And I take their word for trying to fix it."

It is important to note that the state has not issued a boil order at this time.

Meanwhile, we’ve reached out several times on this Monday to speak with the operator of the Sligo Water System, Andy Freeman. We’re still waiting to hear back from him.

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