Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Six-Year-Old Houston Area Boy

Brain-Eating Amoeba Kills Six-Year-Old Houston Area Boy

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a state of emergency on Sunday, September 27, 2020, for Houston area Brazoria County. Governor Abbott declared the state of emergency after deadly brain-eating amoeba was found in the water supply of Lake Jackson, a city in Brazoria County. The bacterium, medically known as naegleria fowleri, is thought to have killed a six-year-old-boy in Lake Jackson.

How the Boy Contracted the Deadly Amoeba

Investigators believe they have pinpointed where the six-year-old boy contracted the amoeba.

Testing has revealed that a splash pad at a Lake Jackson tested positive for the deadly, brain-eating amoeba. The boy had played in the contaminated water used in the splash pad.

Inasmuch as the municipal water system was broadly contaminated with the amoeba, the possibility exists that the boy became infected with naegleria fowleri. With that said, because the water in the splash pad tested positive for the amoeba, and because the boy played in the playground water feature, the general consensus is that this is the location at which the child became fatally infected.

The child who died, Josiah McIntyre, was hospitalized after he began to experience what were described as “mysterious” headaches. He also began to experience dizziness. Ultimately, he developed a fever, vomited, and had an issue standing up properly. Josiah’s mother, Maria Castillo, described the boy as being “the happiest, most active, sweetest little soul.”

Official Response to Amoebic Contamination

In addition to the Governor declaring a state of emergency for all of Brazoria County, there have been some other official responses to the deadly amoebic contamination. On September 25, 2020, a broad advisory was issued involving a number of different municipalities in the county. People were directed not to use tap water for any purpose except flushing toilets. This included not only a directive not to drink water but to not use it for bathing as well.

The warning was lifted after 24 hours, with the exception of the city of Lake Jackson. In Lake Jackson, residents are advised to boil water before using tap water for such things as drinking, cooking, or ice making. The city is in the process of flushing the municipal water system and disinfecting water pipes, other conduits, and the water itself. There has not been a release of specific information regarding how long this process is anticipated to take

Where Naegleria Fowleri Normally is Found

Naegleria fowleri infections are highly uncommon in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 142 known infections of this amoeba in the United States from 1962 through 2018. Naegleria fowleri is most commonly found in locations that include:

  • Poorly maintained swimming pools and other water features
  • Bodies of warm freshwater, including rivers and lakes
  • Natural hot springs
  • Natural hot drinking water sources
  • Water heaters
  • Soil

Prognosis of Naegleria Fowleri Infection

The prognosis of a naegleria fowleri infection is grim. Of the 142 known infections between 1962 and 2018, only four infected people survived. The death rate from a naegleria fowleri is said to be 97 percent.

According to the CDC, it is unclear whether a naegleria fowleri infection can be treated. This is because nearly everyone who contracts naegleria fowleri, despite the use of different drug combinations. Recently, there is some evidence that treatment with a drug called miltefosine may be effective. Two people who contracted naegleria fowleri were treated with the drug. In addition, brain swelling was aggressively managed. These two individuals did survive their infections.

Protecting Your Rights After an Aquatic Accident or Injury

While infection from naegleria fowleri may not be common, other types of aquatic accidents and injuries unfortunately do frequently occur. If you or a loved one have been injured in some sort of aquatic accident, The Doan Law Firm stands ready to protect your vital legal rights. This includes drowning accidents and deaths.

You can connect with a Doan Law Firm aquatic accident injury lawyer any time of the day or night by calling us at (800) 349-0000. We can arrange an initial consultation at any one of our 40 offices located from coast to coast or online. There is no charge for an initial consultation and case evaluation.

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