Texas Boy Dies Due to Brain Eating Amoeba – Disaster Declared

Texas Boy Dies Due to Brain Eating Amoeba - Disaster Declared

(UnitedVoice.com) – A Texas town has been officially declared a disaster area after a 6-year-old boy died from a rare parasite. Residents in Lake Jackson, a city of 27,000 in the Greater Houston metro area, have been told not to use the tap water after officials realized it was contaminated with a horrifying brain-eating amoeba.

An alert was triggered when Josiah McIntyre died on September 8, days after playing in water at a city splash pad. Health officials quickly confirmed he had died from Naegleria fowleri, an amoebic parasite. While the amoeba is safe if swallowed, when it enters the body through the nose it can reach the brain and cause a rapid, usually fatal form of encephalitis. Symptoms include headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting and a stiff neck. The majority of victims — 90-95% — die within a week.

Following McIntyre’s death, 8 cities in the Houston area were warned not to use tap water. Now 7 have been given the all-clear – but the parasite was found in 3 of 11 sites tested in Lake Jackson, including the McIntyre family’s garden hose. Now, the city is delivering bottled water to residents while it works on purifying the supply.

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