Lake Jackson: 6-year-old boy dies after being infected with brain-eating amoeba

The death of a 6-year-old boy who authorities said was hospitalized with a brain-eating amoeba prompted warnings about a possibly contaminated water supply in a Houston suburban community.

Maria Castillo, Josiah McIntyre’s mother, said on Saturday that her son died on September 8 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and that doctors told her the cause was a brain-eating amoeba.

Josiah McIntyre pictured with his mother, Maria Castillo, and sister. Source: ABC16/Facebook.

Hospital spokeswoman Jenn Jacome confirmed her death at the institution but said privacy laws prevent her from discussing the cause.

The city of Lake Jackson, Texas, said in a statement on Saturday that an anonymous 6-year-old boy was hospitalized for “a rare and often fatal brain-eating amoeba” identified as Naegleria fowleri.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that people who swim in hot freshwater are the most common victims of amoeba and that it usually enters through the nose.

“You cannot get infected by swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria,” says the agency about the parasite on its website.

The city intensified its search for the source of Josiah’s contamination after his family indicated two possibilities: an aquatic recreation area called Lake Jackson Civic Center Splash Pad and a home lawn hose.

Embed from Twitter: @TCEQ
Embed from Twitter: @TCEQ

CDC tests indicated that the Splash Pad storage tank, as well as a hydrant, was tested positive for the amoeba, officials said.

Updated: 09/26/2020

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