Health and Wellness

Texas Gov. Abbott Declares Disaster of Brain-Eating Amoeba Found in City Water Supply

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration Sept. 27 after a brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, was found in the water supply in the city of Lake Jackson.

The declaration states that the amoeba was detected in three of 11 tests of the water supply, “posing an imminent threat to public health and safety, including loss of life, in Brazoria County,” where Lake Jackson is located.

The amoeba can cause a rare and usually fatal brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis. Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea or vomiting and can progress to confusion, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations. The amoeba infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose.

In September, a 6-year-old boy was diagnosed with the amoeba and died, which prompted Lake Jackson to test the water supply, CBS affiliate KHOU 11 reports.

The governor’s declaration authorizes the use of all available state government resources to address the disaster, and it suspends any regulatory statute that could hinder or delay necessary action.

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