A Texas boy has died after being infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba.
Following a visit to the Don Misenhimer Park in Arlington, Texas, a boy got infected with Naegleria fowleri – a rare brain-eating amoeba. The child was reportedly hospitalized on September 5. Tragically, less than a week later, he died at the Cook Children’s Medical Center, Daily Mail reports.
According to officials, the boy may have caught the disease either at home or at the splash pad, where chlorine levels were below the state requirement of 0.5mg/L, as determined by the Tarrant County Public Health Department.
Moreover, accounts from two of the four splash pads, Don Misenhimer Park and the Beacon Recreation Center, revealed that Parks and Recreation employees didn’t consistently conduct the mandatory daily water quality testing.
Deputy City Manager Lemuel Randolph commented:
“[A review] identified gaps in our daily inspection program. Those gaps resulted in us not meeting our maintenance standards at our splash pads.”
Employees at both parks failed to consistently perform the obligatory chemical tests.
A child has died after being infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba that was found at a Texas splash pad he had visited, and a review discovered lapses in water-quality testing at several parks, officials say. https://t.co/On48D496R6
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 29, 2021
A city official told NBC 5:
“When chlorine level readings were below minimum state standards at those locations, the inspection log did not consistently reflect what action city employees took to bring the chlorination levels up.
For example, the logs did not always show how much disinfectant chemical was manually added to the splash pad’s water system. The logs also did not consistently include a follow-up reading to confirm that the water chlorination levels were at acceptable levels after treatment.”
Furthermore, it was revealed that the Don Misenhimer splash pad did not document water chlorination readings on two of the three dates that the boy was there. As per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, workers actually added chlorine to the water system the day after the child’s visit.
City officials claimed Arlington’s drinking water supply was not affected by the deadly amoeba. Nevertheless, all four splash pads in the city have been close since the tragic incident.