Monday, September 28, 2020

Brain-Eating Amoeba Found in a Texas City’s Water Supply

A 6-year-old boy died in Lake Jackson, Texas, after being infected by an organism that enters the nose and travels to the brain.

Lake Jackson, Texas, residents stocked up on bottled water after the city released advisories about the water supply. Credit...Jenna Kieser/The Facts

By Allyson Waller

The governor of Texas issued a disaster declaration on Sunday for a Gulf Coast county where a 6-year-old boy died after being infected by a brain-eating amoeba and the organism was found in the water supply.

In early September, Brazoria County health officials alerted the city of Lake Jackson, Texas, about 56 miles south of Houston, about a boy who was hospitalized with the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri. The organism is typically found in warm freshwater lakes and rivers, and people are exposed when it enters the body through the nose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It travels up the nose to the brain, where it destroys brain tissue.

The boy’s family believed he had been exposed to the single-celled organism from a water hose at his home or from a city splash pad, where water spurts up from the ground, city officials said in a news release. The city closed the splash pad, and multiple tests were conducted with help from the C.D.C. and the Texas Department of State Health Services.  Read more >>