LAKE JACKSON — Three out of 11 samples of Lake Jackson’s water showed initial genetic material for naegleria fowleri, a rare brain-eating amoeba, including one from a hose at the home of a boy who died this month, Lake Jackson City Manager Modesto Mundo said.
“The civic center fountain, there is a small pit underneath the fountain, the water there showed an initial genetic material of the amoeba,” Mundo said at an emergency council meeting Saturday morning. “The fire hydrant showed an initial genetic material there and also the hose bin at the family’s home.”
The civic center splash pad has been closed since Sept. 8.
The state took the CDC test samples Tuesday and the city got preliminary results Friday afternoon.
Josiah McIntyre, a 6-year-old from Lake Jackson, died Sept. 8 after first developing a headache Sept. 3, his family said. His house is near Shy Pond, city staff said.
The family wanted to test their water hose because the child might have played with the water hose, Mundo said.
Brazosport Water Authority issued a “do not use” notice for its water at 10:30 p.m. Friday for all places it distributes to: Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, Rosenberg, Dow Chemical, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Clemens and Wayne Scott units.
Residents of the impacted area are advised to not use tap water for any reason, including bathing, but flushing the toilet is OK, TCEQ said.
Naegleria fowleri is a free-living microscopic ameba, or single-celled living organism, that can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis, according to the CDC.
Very rarely, Naegleria infections can occur when contaminated water, including contaminated tap water, enters the nose, the CDC website states.
“You cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria,” the website said.
The city will bring in “six 18-wheelers” of bottled water today, Mundo said.
Lake Jackson uses a mix of Brazosport Water Authority and well water, Mundo said. That mix is about 50/50, sometimes closer to 60 BWA water.
No other cities or agencies have reported a problem with BWA water, BWA Board President Juan Longoria said.