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Brain-eating amoeba kills 6-year-old boy in the United States

The child died on September 8 following an infection caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri

brain eating amoeba

File Image: The 'brain eating amoeba'

Sentinel Digital Desk

Texas: In an alarming development reported from United States' Texas, a six-year-old boy died after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba that was later found in his community's water supply. Following this, the governor of Texas has issued a disaster declaration.

An amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic organism that breeds in the warm, freshwater of lakes and rivers and of poorly maintained swimming pools, reportedly killed the 6-year-old child after he was infected.

Josiah McIntyre, the deceased child, was reportedly playing in a splash park downtown, shortly before he fell ill and died.

As per scientists, the amoeba enters the body through the nasal membranes and penetrates the brain, causing powerful migraine, hyperthermia, stiff neck, and vomiting. In the second phase, infected persons complain of dizziness, extreme fatigue, confusion, and hallucinations.

A spokesman for the town of Lake Jackson, where the boy died, said that testing revealed traces of the amoeba in the tap of the garden hose at the boy's house.

Traces were also found in a fountain in the town centre and in a fire hydrant in the town.

The splash park has been closed following the death of the child. Several towns in Brazoria county, where Lake Jackson is located, advised residents to avoid using tap water for drinking, bathing or cooking.

Even though the advice has been lifted, authorities have urged the residents to continue to use boiled water for consumption.

Meanwhile, Texas' Governor Greg Abbott has issued a "disaster declaration" on Sunday for Brazoria County, which includes Lake Jackson.

As per the provisions of the declaration, authorities can use extra state resources due to an emergency.

Between 1983 and 2010, Texan health authorities have attributed 28 deaths to the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, reports said.

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