It will take two months to disinfect the water supply system in the US city of Lake Jackson, Texas from brain-eating microbes, said the city’s manager Modesto Mundo. The official said the city's water service is now trying to clean the water supply system by ridding it of old water. "We’ll be doing that for a 60-day period", Mundo said.
Mundo said 3 out of 11 tests of the city’s water system had showed positive results for the microbe. The Brazosport Water Authority has lifted the warning against using tap water in Lake Jackson, but advised more than 27,000 residents to boil tap water before using it.
Mundo said one of the positive tests came from the home of Josiah McIntyre, a six-year-old boy who died last month after being infected with the microbe. Doctors tried to save the boy by preventing the swelling of his brain, but couldn't.
Josiah’s mother Maria Castillo said the boy initially displayed flu-like symptoms, but they quickly worsened and the boy couldn’t stand or communicate with people anymore. Maria says she still can’t accept that her son is dead.
"Josiah loved to be outside and he loved to be with his sister and his cousin. He was a lovable little boy and loved everybody he was around", she said.
Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic amoeba that breeds in warm freshwater and soil. When it enters a body through the nose, it can cause a severe infection known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which has a fatality rate of over 97 percent.
Between 1962 and 2018, only four people in the United States have managed to recover from PAM. One of the survivors was left with permanent brain damage.