The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality put out a water advisory to residents within the Brazosport Water Authority warning them to not use water due to the presence of Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba.
“The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality at the direction of the Governor’s Office is working with Brazosport Water Authority to resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” the advisory reads.
Naegleria fowleri is found in soil, warm lakes rivers, and hot springs or in poorly maintained swimming areas. Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, and Rosenberg, Texas residents all received the notice.
Lake Jackson residents received a disaster declaration after a 6-year old was hospitalized with the amoeba. Water experts believe that he was either infected through a neighborhood splash pad or through his home water supply through a hose. The splash pad’s water supply tested positive for the amoeba and the water is currently being treated and cleared of the amoeba.
The CDC warns that while the infections from Naegleria fowleri are rare, they are fatal. People cannot be infected by drinking water infected with the amoeba but can become infected if it gets in their nose.
Mayor Bob Sipple of Lake Jackson issued a disaster declaration and said, “The impact of this threat is severe. The potential damages include: sickness and death,” in a letter to the governor, per the New York Times.
The amoeba was also found in Florida in July.
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