The US State Committee for Environmental Quality issued a warning to residents of eight cities in the state this week that brain-eating amoebas are present in the water supply in the southeastern part of the state, according to a report published by THE HILL.
The committee issued a statement late Friday warning against the use of water, after water officials reported the presence of naegleria fowleri – an amoeba that eats the brain – in the water supply, according to a statement released on Friday by the commission.
The committee later found that the water was safe in all locations it had previously warned of, with the exception of Lake Jackson, according to a statement on Saturday. Lake Jackson officials issued a disaster declaration about the pollution.
“Residents of Lake Jackson are still being urged to follow guidelines not to use water until the water system is adequately cleaned … it is not known at this time how long this will take,” the committee said in a statement.
Residents are urged not to drink or use tap water for any purpose, including bathing.
On September 8, Lake Jackson city officials were informed of a 6-year-old boy who had been hospitalized with ameba. And “CNN” reported that the Texas Department of Health Services tracked the infection to a water fountain in which the boy was playing at the Lake Jackson Civic Center.
The boy Josiah MacIntyre died after fighting an infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis.
Amoeba “Naegleria folery” is found naturally in fresh water all over the world. It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, and then travels to the brain.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the infection usually occurs when people go swimming or diving in “warm, fresh water.”
She adds that people cannot become infected by swallowing contaminated water, and it cannot be transmitted from person to person.
People with Naegleria Folieri suffer from symptoms that include fever, nausea and vomiting, as well as a stiff neck and headache, and most of them die within a week.