Well as much as that headline is telling me not to, I am afraid I am going to be. Brain eating amoeba does not sound like something pleasant. The fact is the organism has been blamed on sickness and even death in our state.

Many of the reports of brain eating amoeba have come from the parishes around the New Orleans area. In particular St. Bernard Parish where a five year old child reportedly died from complications brought on by the microscopic organism.

But according to Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the State Health Officer, the reason you're hearing more about the brain eating amoeba in our water supply is not a reason to be alarmed.

We're now able to check for it.  We now have a test to check for it, so we're finding it.  So it looks like, 'Oh my God!  The brain eating amoeba's taking over our water systems!'  That's not the case.

I don't know whether to say that's good news that we got a test for this or bad news that we have no idea how long we may have been exposed to the stuff because we didn't have a test for it.

Regardless, Dr. Guidry went on to tell the Louisiana Radio Network that it's good that you and I are aware of the discovery of brain eating amoeba in some of our state's water supplies. He says there is no real reason to be alarmed by the reports of it being discovered because it's probably been around for years.

It wasn't something we knew about.  It wasn't something that we checked for.  So that's why it looks like we're finding more and more systems.  I'm not surprised that we're finding it, because we're looking for it differently than we did before.

Dr. Guidry went on to say that the water systems where the amoeba has been found still provide water that is safe to drink. He just warns against getting the water up your nose.

I'm not talking about just in your sinus, I'm talking about way up here where it burns.  You know it's up there when it gets up there.  That's not easy to do.  It takes pressure and it takes quite a bit of water to get it up there.

Somehow I am not exactly comforted by this knowledge.