Disaster declared: A 6-year-old boy from a Texas city died from a brain-eating amoeba found in a water supply.
- Texas city residents told NOT to use tap water.
- A six-year-old died from a ‘brain-eating’ amoeba after playing in the waters of Lake Jackson.
- Lake Jackson remains under a ‘DO NOT USE’ order.
Tragically, on September 8, a six-year-old child named Josiah McIntyre died after playing in the water in Lake Jackson. As per Daily Mail, officials believe the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, either entered his body at a splash pad in the city or from a hose in the family home.
Naegleria fowleri, the deadly amoeba, is usually fatal if it enters the body via the nose. Nearly 95% of the people infected with the unicellular organism die.
Last month, a similar incident cost the life of another boy. Tanner Lake Wall, 13, died after going for a dip during a vacation to a North Florida campground. The teen’s father told News4Jax:
“They said, ‘We’re sorry to tell you this, but your son does not have bacterial meningitis. He has a parasitic amoeba, and there is no cure.’”
CDC: “You cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria.”
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clarifies that the infection usually occurs when people go swimming in warm freshwater places, including lakes and rivers. The symptoms include fever, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, the patients also experience severe headaches and a stiff neck. Terrifyingly, most of them die within a few days.
Modesto Mundo, the local manager, told KCENTV that his city shut down the splash pad after hearing of the child’s death. Mundo said:
“The notification to us at that time was that he has played at one of play fountains and he may have also played with a water hose at the home.”
After the initial examination received negative results, officials suggested another set of tests. On September 22, there were multiple tests carried out in Lake Jackson. Three days later, they were confirmed to be positive for the amoeba.
On September 25, the tests confirmed to be positive for the deadly amoeba at three of the 11 sites in the city.
The water supplies that showed positive results included Lake Jackson Civic Center Splash Pad, the family’s home hose bib, and a dead-end fire hydrant close to the splash pad in downtown.
Lake Jackson has immediately shut down its water system. The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality is currently trying to get the city off the Brazoria Water Authority, where typically 50% of the city’s water comes from. Locals will have to rely completely on well water.
TCEQ Investigators are on the scene in Lake Jackson to conduct water sampling.
— Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (@TCEQ) September 26, 2020
Eight communities were told not to use tap water, including Lake Jackson, were Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, and Rosenberg. After officials localized the problem, only Lake Jackson remained under a ‘Do Not Use’ order.
According to the city manager, TCEQ is now testing the system for chlorine residual. They will consider adding a high chlorine dosage to the system for around 60 days. Mundo said:
“The water may be able to be used, but at this stage, we have not been told that yet. That’s what TCEQ is working with us to see if we can get a super chlorinated level that makes it in their mind safe to drink.”
Local residents are now receiving cases of bottled water.