HealthDay News — The presence of a brain-eating amoeba in its drinking water has led the city of Lake Jackson, Texas, to issue a “do not use water order” and request an emergency declaration from the state.
“The City of Lake Jackson, County of Brazoria, Texas, is facing significant threats to life, health, and property due to contaminated drinking water,” the city said in its emergency request to Gov. Greg Abbott. “The impact of this threat is severe. The potential damages include: sickness and death.”
The city, which has more than 27,000 residents, gets its water from the Brazos River. The situation with Naegleria fowleri in the water “is of such severity and magnitude” that the city cannot control the threat on its own, Mayor Bob Sipple wrote, CBS News reported. Infection can occur when Naegleria fowleri-contaminated water enters the body through the nose; from there, it can travel to the brain and cause a rare and often fatal disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis.
The Brazosport Water Authority supplies water to Lake Jackson and said in a statement that it is unclear how long before the city’s tap water will again be safe.