Houston: A state of disaster was proclaimed in Brazoria county of Texas by the governor after a deadly brain-eating amoeba was found in the community’s water supply, that earlier caused the death of a six-year-old.
The boy, Josiah McIntyre, who lived in Lake Jackson, a city near Houston, Texas, died on Sept. 8 of a rare infection with the amoeba, known as Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic organism that breeds in the warm, fresh water of lakes and rivers and of poorly maintained swimming pools, US media reports said. The amoeba enters the body through the nasal membranes and penetrates to the brain, causing powerful migraine, hyperthermia, stiff neck and vomiting, then dizziness, extreme fatigue, confusion and hallucinations.
Officials tested 11 samples from Lake Jackson’s water supply and traces of the amoeba were seen in the tap of the garden hose at the boy’s house. Traces were also found in a fountain in the town centre and in a fire hydrant in a town just one hour away from the major city of Houston, said officials to local media.
Between 1983 and 2010, Texan health authorities have attributed 28 deaths to the amoeba Naegleria fowleri.