Residents of Lake Jackson, Texas were asked not to use tap water after a brain-eating microbe was found in the water supply, which authorities carefully disinfected, the BBC reported. A six-year-old boy reportedly contracted the microbe and died earlier this month. According to reports, the boy, Josiah McIntryre, was infected by the water in that area. Residents were strictly asked not to use tap water except for the toilet.
Naegleria fowleri, the microscopic amoeba, can cause a deadly infection in the brain.
The amoeba enters the body through the nose and from there travels to the brain. Josiah’s mother, Maria Castillo, said her son died at Texas Children̵
Areas affected include Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, and Rosenberg. However, the warning was later lifted from other locations except Jackson Lake.
Microbe contamination of treated public water systems in the United States is rare but not unheard of. According to the CDC website, the first deaths from naegleria fowleri found in tap water from treated U.S. public drinking water systems occurred in southern Louisiana in 2011 and 2013. The microbe was also found in 2003 in an untreated well-supplied geothermal drinking water system in Arizona as well as disinfected public drinking water supplies in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s and 2008 in Pakistan.
(With agency input)