US City Warned Of Brain-Eating Microbe In Tap Water
Officials of a city in Texas have warned residents about using tap water, after a deadly brain-eating microbe was found in the water supply.
Lake Jackson, in the county of Brazoria, issued a disaster declaration yesterday (26 September) and was placed under a 'do not use water order'. This has since been updated to a 'boil water notice' as of yesterday evening, advising residents to boil tap water before drinking it or using it to cook with and to take extra precautions when showering and washing.
"The City of Lake Jackson, County of Brazoria, Texas, is facing significant threats to life, health and property due to contaminated drinking water," the city said in its emergency request to Governor Greg Abbott.
"The impact of this threat is severe. The potential damages include: sickness and death."
UPDATE 9/26, 10 PM: The City of Lake Jackson is lifting its Do Not Use Water Advisory. Boil Water Notice is in effect along with add'l precautionary measures. https://t.co/gc2EZ6mE5b pic.twitter.com/WWodex5PK6
- Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (@TCEQ) September 27, 2020
The city first became aware of the amoeba naegleria fowleri after it infected a six-year-old boy, who sadly later died.
A press release issued by Lake Jackson on Saturday said: "On September 8th, 2020, the City of Lake Jackson was contacted by the Brazoria County Health Department about a 6-year-old boy that was hospitalized due to a rare and often fatal brain eating ameba, Naegleria Fowleri.
"After his diagnosis, the family had indicated two possible water sources where he could have been exposed to the ameba; one being the Lake Jackson Civic Center Splash Pad and the other being a hose at his home."
More Like ThisMore Like This
NBC News reports that the boy's mother, Maria Castillo, said her son died at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston on 8 September, and that doctors told her the cause of death was the brain-eating amoeba.
Drinking water tested by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality confirmed the presence of naegleria fowleri in the city's water supply.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, naegleria fowleri is a 'free-living microscopic ameba' that can cause 'a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis'.
It is commonly found in 'warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil', with infection typically occurring when people go swimming or diving in such places - although in 'rare' instances infections may also happen when 'contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water) enters the nose'.
Initial symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea or vomiting, while later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations.
The disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death about five days after symptoms begin, although this can range between one and 18 days.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read