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Gov. Abbott visits Lake Jackson in wake of discovery of brain-eating amoeba that killed Texas boy

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Gov. Greg Abbott (left) and the water tower for Lake Jackson, Texas (right).

LAKE JACKSON, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other officials said Tuesday that water samples taken earlier this year from a Houston-area community did not raise concerns before the detection of a brain-eating amoeba, which doctors believe killed a 6-year-old boy.

Residents of Lake Jackson are likely to remain under orders to boil water for several weeks as the city continues purging the water supply. Lake Jackson officials said this week that three of 11 samples of the city’s water indicated preliminary positive results for the naegleria fowleri parasitic microbe.

One sample, Lake Jackson City Manager Modesto Mundo has said, came from the home of Josiah McIntyre, the 6-year-old boy whom doctors said died earlier this month after being infected with the deadly parasite.

During Abbott's visit to Lake Jackson on Tuesday along with the state environmental regulators, they said samples through at least June raised no flags. Abbott said all indications point to the case being isolated and that the suspected problem in the boy’s death was traced back to a splashpad.

“The residual samples that we have in our records show that there would be nothing of concern up until this point,” said Toby Baker, executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. “So we will definitely be investigating that further.”

The Brazosport Water Authority initially warned eight communities late Friday night not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets, but on Saturday it lifted that warning for all communities but Lake Jackson, where the authority’s water treatment plant is situated. The advisory also was canceled for two state prisons and Dow Chemical’s massive Freeport works.

Naegleria fowleri is a free-living microscopic amoeba, or single-celled living organism commonly found in warm freshwater and soil, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. From there it travels to the brain and can cause a rare and debilitating disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis.

Symptoms of the illness include headaches, vomiting, fever and becoming disoriented.

The infection is usually fatal and typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places such as lakes and rivers. In very rare instances, naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or contaminated tap water) enters the nose.

The CDC said people cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri.

“This is a terrible tragedy that made something that was rare, and even vanishingly rare, actually happen,” said John Hellersedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services.

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Associated Press

Comments

12 Comments

      1. Four Wheelie Abbbbbbottt and Trumpet need to jump in for a long swim to see what happens. No brain-eater critters hanging on to their peckers, we can then all feel safe to go near the water. Maybe they can take the Texas Cuban senator as a lifeguard. I am sure those little critters are not racist!

        1. It sounds like you need to catch the COVID19. It’s racist and likes bigot and racist Latinos. Moron! BTW – El Dorado Investigations? Hey KVIA this guy is advertising. Aka spam.

          1. WASPS, BLACKS, BROWNS, and ASIAN scumbags are all the same to me. I treat you the same! If you want to be a real human being and act with respect to the law in every way, you then get my respect. Don’t hide with a phony name. It reminds me of all the scumbags I have always dealt with. Want to have a real conversation? You know my address.

          2. You must hate yourself. Having to advertise a crappy fly by night PI business on KVIA? Too funny. You a wannabe J.J. Armes? How about the Ft Bliss Rod & Gun Club for a no fee consultation. You are a total moron.

          1. The best one we got him on was when he bragged about getting his absentee ballot out in the mail with two stamps. But the problem is the county elections didn’t mail out the absentee ballots until well after he claimed to send his out. His nose grew another 12 inches. He is 50% lies and 50% fake news. LMAO.

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