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Brain-eating amoeba found in Brazosport water supply – Texas

Brain-eating amoeba found in Brazosport water supply - Texas

Authorities on Friday were alerted to the presence of Naegleria fowleri in the water, which led to a “do not use” warning throughout the service area.

The recommendation applies to water in Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, Rosenburg, Dow Chemical, TDCJ Clemens, and TDCJ Wayne Scott. (see the update)

The Governor’s Office instructed the Texas Environmental Quality Commission to work with the Brazosport Water Authority to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

According to this warning, residents are advised not to drink or use tap water from the affected system, including bathing. Officials said flushing the toilet is OK under the recommendation.

Officials said the non-use notice will remain in effect until the water system is flushed and the samples indicate that the water is safe to use.



Regulators said the water authority was first notified of the presence of amoeba at 9:30 pm. Brazosport Water Authority is a water treatment plant in Lake Jackson, Texas, in the greater metropolitan area of ​​Houston.

“The Texas Environmental Quality Commission, under the guidance of the Governor’s Office, is working with the Brazosport Water Authority to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” officials wrote in the statement.

In a warning not to use water, affected residents are advised not to drink or use tap water from the affected system – for any purpose for the duration of the warning – including for bathing purposes. Flushing is safe, regulators noted.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Naegleria fowleri causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue. In its early stages, the symptoms of PAM may be similar to the symptoms of bacterial meningitis, according to the CDC website.

However, CDC officials noted that people cannot be infected by drinking contaminated water: “You cannot be infected by drinking water contaminated with Naegleria,” officials wrote. “You can only be infected when the contaminated water rises through your nose.”

This nasal entry usually occurs when people go swimming or diving in hot freshwater locations, such as lakes and rivers, CDC officials noted. The amoeba Naegleria fowleri is then able to travel through the nose to the brain, where it destroys brain tissue, authorities wrote.

Updated: 09/26/2020

The Brazosport Water Authority has suspended the Notice of Not Using Water for all the areas, except for Lake Jackson.