Texas Authorities Lift Brain-Eating Amoeba Warning in Every City But One

Grant Boone
September 28, 2020

After Texas authorities sent an urgent message about brain-eating amoeba found in a southeast county water's supply, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lifted a "Do Not Use" water advisory for all areas except one, Lake Jackson.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced on Saturday that it had lifted a "do not use" water advisory issued on late Friday by the Brazosport Water Authority in all areas across the state, except in one city.

The orders were issued for all water in the following cities: Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, the City of Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, Rosenberg, Dow Chemical, TDCJ Clemens Unit and TDCJ Wayne Scott Unit.

Lake Jackson, the only city still affected by the warning, is now under a "do not use water" order, which may lead to an official declaration of an emergency by the state. A statement from Lake Jackson confirmed that the boy's problem was traced back to either a water fountain "splash pad" in front of the Lake Jackson Civic Center, or through water emitted from a hose at the boy's home.

The mortality rate of the amoeba infections is 90 to 95 per cent if it enters via the nose.

A disaster has been declared in a Texan town after a brain-eating amoeba was found in their local water supply - tested after a six-year-old boy died.

Authorities say it will take approximately three days to clear the system. The city of more than 27,000 residents is the site of the authority's water treatment plant.

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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.

These infections are rare, but can be fatal. The advisory is reportedly still in effect until the authority's water system has been flushed and deemed safe to be use again after water samples prove it is safe. They added that the contaminated water was now being flushed out and tests will soon be conducted to ensure the water is safe to use. "You can not get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria".

The microscopic single-celled microbe is known to cause a rare brain illness known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which destroys brain tissue, causing brain swelling and eventual death.

The CDC says people can not get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri.

The United States has registered 34 PAM infections over the period from 2009 to 2018, according to the CDC. At the time, health officials there urged locals to avoid nasal contact with water from taps and other sources.

The microbe contaminated water supplies in the USA state of Florida earlier this year.

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