×
Eight Texas Cities Alerted After Boy Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In Tap Water

Eight Texas Cities Alerted After Boy Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba Found In Tap Water

Through a statement, the city of Lake Jackson said that they identified the "rare and often fatal brain-eating amoeba" as Naegleria fowleri.

Source: Getty Images/Lester V. Bergman

Cover image used for representational purposes only

Earlier this month, a 6-year-old boy named Josiah McIntyre died at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston after he was hospitalized with a brain-eating amoeba, reports PEOPLE. This prompted authorities to issue warnings in the state about the deadly amoeba in the water. McIntyre's mom told NBC News that she lost her son to the deadly brain-eating amoeba. Jenn Jacome, a spokeswoman for the hospital, confirmed McIntyre's death but did not delve into further details. "He was an active little boy. He was a really good big brother. He just loved and cared about a lot of people," McIntyre's mother Maria Castillo said at a benefit for her late son, according to local news outlet KTRK.



 

"Texas Children's did do everything that they could. No one left my son's side. There was always a nurse or a doctor at the side of my son's bed. Any fear that I had was able to be answered," Castillo said. "I'm angry and upset and sad and heartbroken. It really means a lot to me because we want to know as a family for peace of mind. I know it doesn't bring him back. The fact that we know how he got it, how he contracted it, gives us peace of mind." Through a statement, the city of Lake Jackson said that they identified the "rare and often fatal brain-eating amoeba" as Naegleria fowleri.



 

 

The Naegleria fowleri is most commonly found in freshwater (such as lakes and rivers) and soil. People are infected by the amoeba when the contaminated water enters the body through the nose, according to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC). The city also revealed that they'd narrowed down the source of the infected water that claimed McIntyre's life to two options: a water play area called the Lake Jackson Civic Center Splash Pad and a home lawn hose. CNN reports that a Do Not Use Water Advisory has been issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to residents served by the Brazosport Water Authority.



 

 

The warning was issued to Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, and Rosenberg, as well as the Dow Chemical plant in Freeport and the Clemens and Wayne Scott Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections facilities. An update on Twitter by TECQ read: Do Not Use Water Advisory LIFTED for most Brazosport Water Authority users Lake Jackson residents are still urged to heed DO NOT USE Water Advisory. The CDC stated: Naegleria fowleri usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the ameba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM, which is usually fatal.



 

 

Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources. It is a rare disease that is almost always fatal, only 4 people in the U.S. out of 145 have survived infection from 1962 to 2018.  Symptoms start 1-9 days (median 5 days) after swimming or other nasal exposure to Naegleria-containing water. People die 1-18 days (median 5 days) after symptoms begin. Initial symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, while later symptoms that occur before death include seizures, hallucinations, and coma.



 

 


 

Recommended for you