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Texas tap water safe to drink again after deadly brain-eating parasite found in supply

Written by on 07/10/2020

Families in Texas have been told their tap water is safe to drink again after a brain-eating microbe was found in the water supply.

Officials in Lake Jackson said on Tuesday night that they are now satisfied the water is safe for residents to drink after around 27,000 were told not to take it fresh out of the tap.

Households were instructed to boil water before drinking it and take care not to get any up their noses last month after a deadly parasite called naegleria fowleri was detected in the local water system.

A six-year-old boy died after contracting the microbe on 8 September, NBC News reported.

Officials believe the microbe entered Josiah McIntyre’s body at a water park or through a hose at the family home.

He died at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, his mother Maria Castillo said.

Using the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) staining technique, this photomicrograph depicts the histopathologic characteristics associated with a case of amebic meningoencephalitis due to Naegleria fowleri parasites. Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the ameba enters the body through the nose. This typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers. The Naegleria fowleri ameba then travels up the nose to the brain where it de
Image: Naegleria fowleri was found in the water supply in Lake Jackson. File pic

Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm freshwater and soil, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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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. The infection is usually fatal.

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Contamination of public water systems in the US by the microbe is rare but not unheard of and last reported in southern Louisiana in 2013.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said in a statement: “Residents can drink tap water, but should continue to take proper precautions against Naegleria fowleri infection by preventing the water from going up their nose or sniffing water into their nose.”

 Sky News

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