There are certain things we take for granted: that we will have clean air to breathe, that our food is free of poison, and that our water supply is safe. And while we do know about the dangers of pollution and that there are occasional instances of food contamination, we all usually assume that the water that we drink, bathe in, and play in is okay. But sadly, that is not always the case. A four-year-old boy has died from a rare brain-eating amoeba after reportedly playing on a Slip-n-Slide.
Reuters reports, “Tissue tests by the CDC later revealed the boy died from a form of encephalitis after the amoeba entered his body through his nose and attacked his brain.”
Louisiana towns are now on high alert and are testing their water supplies to see if there are more dangers lurking. And it is lurking: “The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on Friday confirmed the presence of the amoeba in four locations of the water system in St. Bernard Parish.” Apparently the amoeba was able to thrive due to low chlorine levels in the water. It should be noted that the amoeba does not attack if it is swallowed; rather it can become problematic — and deadly — if it enters the body through the nose. Another example of this was when two people died from using tap water in their neti pots back in 2011, and both of those cases took place — yet again — in Louisiana.
As parents, we assume that doing something like playing on a Slip-n-Slide in local water would be completely safe, so a case like this is completely shocking. Yes, it was a very rare event and a freak accident of sorts. There were no warning signs, and no parent would have assumed that a little water play would result in death. Now it is the job of not just Louisiana, but all states to make sure that things that are so fundamental to our daily lives — like our water — are safe and free of toxins, disease, and deadly amoebas.
Do you take any precautions with the water you use?
Photo Source: iStockPhotos