Schoolhouse Beat

Health scare prompts St. Bernard Parish (La.) district to shut off drinking fountains

The St. Bernard Parish (La.) School District has shut down drinking fountains in middle and elementary schools after a rare brain-eating amoeba was found in the parish's water system. The New Orleans Times-Picayune says Superintendent Doris Voitier made the decision after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that four locations of the parish water system tested positive for the amoeba. A Mississippi boy died in August from a brain infection he likely contracted while visiting in St. Bernard in July. Paris officials say the water is safe to drink but there's a risk if it enters the nose. Voitier says schools are providing water that is not from the parish system. Water coolers have been set up throughout the schools. The parish public school system has about 7,200 students in 11 facilities.

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