ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, La. (KGO) --More than 12,000 Louisiana residents face a threat from a brain- eating amoeba lurking in their water supply.
Officials in St. John the Baptist Parish hope a chlorine burn to flush water lines will disinfect their drinking water supply and kill off the amoeba, but that could take two months to happen.
The microorganism poses the biggest threat to anyone who gets water inside their nose.
"The water is safe to drink, bath, shower and cook. The concern is when the water goes deep into your nasal passage. This is something that affects the brain. Cuts on your body, taking a bath and ingesting it has no impact," said Natalie Robottom, President of St. John the Baptist Parish.
The brain-eating amoeba has sickened 150 people in the United States over the past 50 years.