The city of Lake Johnson in Texas declared a disaster on Saturday after discovering a brain-eating amoeba in their tap water.
When a 6-year-old boy contracted Naegleria fowler, the rare amoeba, his family “indicated two possible water sources where he could have been exposed…the Lake Jackson Civic Center Splash Pad and the other being a hose at his house.”
Immediately, Brazoria County Health Department contacted the city of Lake Jackson and began conducting tests on both potential sources.
Three out of 11 samples came back positive, and those three were “the only ones taken by the ‘filtration collection method,’ which requires a larger quantity of water to run.”
“The City of Lake Jackson, County of Brazoria, Texas, is facing significant threats to life, health, and property due to contaminated drinking water,” the city said in its emergency request statement.
The impact is beyond the city’s control and is pretty severe as sickness and death are at stake.
Naegleria fowleri, according to CBS, is a single-celled living organism usually found in freshwater and soil. When contaminated water enters through the nose, “it travels to the brain and can cause a rare and debilitating disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis.”
Lake Jackson is on a strict “do not use water order.” The order will remain until its water system is safe to use again. It is unclear how long this will take.
#BREAKING: city of @LakeJacksonTX issues a disaster declaration after a brain-eating amoeba is detected in its water system. Right now, a DO NOT USE WATER advisory has been issued for Lake Jackson. #khou11
— David Gonzalez (@DavidGonzKHOU) September 26, 2020