naegleria fowleri
The brain eating amoeba Naegleria Fowleri
A portion of a water system in Louisiana has tested positive for a brain-eating amoeba, according to the operator of the water system.

Andy Freeman, the operator of Sligo Water System, said residents in south Bossier Parish southeast of Shreveport may be affected.

This is brain tissue that has been attacked by naegleria fowleri, also called "the brain-eating amoeba." George R. Healy, CDC

The Louisiana Department of Health conducted a random test of the system last week and notified the system of the positive result Friday, Freeman said.

Sligo had purchased the water that tested positive for the amoeba from Bossier City. Sligo has disconnected from Bossier City water and is now using well water to supply those customers, Freeman said.

Other Sligo testing sites did not have the amoeba, Freeman said.

Sligo already was concerned about chlorine levels, so it began flushing the affected portion of the water Wednesday, Freeman said. The water system has been instructed to initiate a free chlorine burn for the next 60 days.

The state has not issued a boil-water order, Freeman said.

The amoeba, naegleria fowleri, is commonly found in warm freshwater and soil. It usually infects people when it enters the body through the nose and later the brain. You cannot get infected by swallowing the water.

Attempts to contact Traci Landry, a Bossier City spokesperson, were not successful before publication.

Sligo normally serves water users with well water, but dry conditions had prompted it to buy Bossier City water, Freeman said.