ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH (WGNO) -- More than twelve and a half thousand people in St. John Parish are at risk of a brain-eating amoeba detected in the water system.
A water sample taken two weeks ago by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals tested positive for the potentially deadly amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.
Residents in Reserve, Garyville and Mt. Airy have been advised to take precautions.
This is the same brain eating amoeba found in both St. Bernard and DeSoto Parish last year and blamed for two deaths.
There are no known current cases of illness.
Health officials say the amoeba can only be harmful if ingested through the nose.
A chlorine burn through the water system will begin Thursday, followed by a sixty-day wait to see if the amoeba has flushed out.
According to officials, "the parish’s system is currently in compliance with all state and federal drinking water regulations, including the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital's emergency rule for Naegleria fowleri."