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File photo. iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) -- Two Louisiana utility workers have been indicted for allegedly failing to test the water supply for a brain-eating amoeba and then lying about it.

In late August, St. John the Baptist Parish officials told 13,000 people in three Louisiana towns that the deadly amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri, had been found in their water supply. The following month, state police officers began to inspect inconsistencies in the water inspection data, according to ABC New Orleans affiliate WGNO.

Utility workers Kevin Branch, 54, and Danielle Roussel, 43, were both indicted Monday on one count of failing to perform a duty required of a public employee and another count of creating and maintaining false public records, according to the indictment obtained by ABC News.

"It's unbelievable really because we trust them. We thought they were doing their jobs, and I'm kind of shocked," resident Sandra Remondet told WGNO. "I can’t believe it."

Naegleria fowleri causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, an extremely rare but almost invariably fatal brain infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The amoeba thrives in warm freshwater and enters the brain through the nose. This infection is not caused by drinking water contaminated by the amoeba.

A 4-year-old boy from a nearby parish died last year after contracting the amoeba while playing on a Slip 'N Slide. Afterward, New Orleans flushed its water supply with chlorine.

According to the grand jury indictment filed Monday, investigators compared the water inspection logs with data from the GPS devices on Branch's and Roussel's parish vehicles and concluded that Branch did not stop at 30 of the 48 water inspections he claimed to have done between Aug. 1 and Aug. 27. And Roussel did not stop for three of the six inspections she claimed to have completed over the same period, the indictment states.

Both Branch and Roussel were given 24 hours to surrender to the parish jail, according to a statement from the Louisiana attorney general.

There have been 132 other reported cases of Naegleria fowleri infections between 1962 and 2013, with only a handful occurring each year, according to the CDC. By comparison, about 10 people die in unintentional drownings per day, the agency said. Four of those Naegleria fowleri cases occurred in Louisiana.

In July, 9-year-old Hally Yust died after being infected with the amoeba in Kansas.

Neither Branch nor Roussel could be reached for comment. The Louisiana attorney general's office said information on their attorneys was not available.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- Middle-aged Americans who don’t have a problem with getting older tend to take better care of their health.

Eric Kim, a University of Michigan doctoral student, says in a study that too many people 50 and older seem resigned to the fact that a certain amount of physical and mental decay is inevitable so to them, it makes little sense to take advantage of preventative health care services.

That's why Kim says it’s important to have a positive mindset about the aging process. He explains that when people are comfortable in their own skin and hope to remain vigorous and healthy in their 50s, 60s and 70s, they get their cholesterol checked regularly and undergo colonoscopies.

For men, higher aging satisfaction also involves prostate exams while women will undergo a mammogram/X-ray or pap smears.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- People love pasta but it's not exactly the healthiest thing for you. For example, the carbohydrates in pasta can cause weight gain while the glucose from the starch spikes the body's blood sugar.

However, a show called Trust Me, I'm A Doctor on Britain's BBC suggests there's an easy way to reduce some of the less beneficial effects of pasta.

The solution, according to Dr. Denise Robertson of the University of Surrey, is to let your pasta cool down before eating it and then, reheat it.

Robertson had people eat freshly made pasta, pasta that was cooled down or reheated pasta with each participant then giving a blood sample every 15 minutes for two hours.

The result was that while cold pasta reduced the blood sugar increase, reheated pasta actually cut the increase by 50 percent compared to the just cooked pasta.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Sugary soda seems to do more damage to the body than previously suspected.

University of California San Francisco researchers contend, “Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body’s metabolic control of sugars but also through accelerated cellular aging of tissues.”

In other words, the DNA of people who drink the equivalent of 20 ounces of sugary soda daily is almost five years older than those who don’t consume carbonated beverages.

Since diet soda doesn’t have the same effect on cellular aging, the researchers assume the heavy sugar content in most sodas is to blame.

If there’s an upside to the study, it’s that Americans are consuming less sugary drinks than in years past.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- Want to know Michael Strahan’s secret weapon for getting into ripped, chiseled, rock solid Magic Mike-worthy shape? Meet his personal trainer, celebrity fitness guru, Latreal “La” Mitchell.

As a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer, Strahan was already pretty physically fit. But Mitchell has helped transform his body into tip-top shape, skyrocketing his confidence and muscle tone to conquer the silver screen -- shirtless.

But that trim transformation doesn’t come overnight, even if you’re a celebrity.

“The best weight-loss tip I can give is being patient,” Mitchell told ABC News. “If someone gains weight over the last 10 years, they want to lose it. All of a sudden they want to lose it now. So be patient and start eliminating things slowly, and the weight will definitely come off.”

Now Mitchell is giving our ABC's Good Morning America viewers a free personal training session live on the ABC News website, helping to continue the new workout while you watch the series called All-Access Celebrity Workout. It’s another 30-minute livestream workout that you can do right along with us from the comfort of your own home.


More ABC news videos | ABC Health News

Take a look at Mitchell’s extra workout tips to keep you in A-list shape:

  1. It's not important how you got to be this way, it's important that you are taking care of yourself now.
  2. Break the scale obsession and its emotional and eating roller-coaster -- instead look at how your clothes fit and how you feel.
  3. Be kind to yourself -- congratulate yourself on accomplishments and forgive your failures.
  4. Renew your commitment to taking good care of yourself every day.
  5. "Eat to live, don't live to eat."

As with any exercise routine, if you have any concerns about starting a workout regime, check with your health care professional to see whether it’s right you.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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