ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A child has died after being infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba that was found at a Texas splash pad.
Officials in Arlington Monday’s statement said that Tarrant County Public Health and the city were notified that a child had been admitted to hospital with primary amebic menosencephalitis. This is a rare, often fatal infection.
The boy was pronounced dead on September 11. Health officials closed all of the city’s public splash pads.
The boy had visited Don Misenhimer Park’s splash pad numerous times in recent weeks. Friday’s water samples were confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A city review revealed that several parks had not been tested for water quality.
“Those gaps resulted in us not meeting our maintenance standards at our splash pads. All of the splash pads will remain closed until we have assurance that our systems are operating as they should, and we have confirmed a maintenance protocol consistent with city, county and state standards,” said Deputy City Manager Lemuel Randolph.
Officials claim that the risk of getting infected with this type of ameba is low. There have been only 34 cases of infection in the United States between 2010 and 2019. It can cause infection when ameba-contaminated water enters the body via the nose. This happens most often when people swim or dive in warm freshwater areas such as rivers and lakes.
Officials have only reported cases where the ameba was found in water from other sources such as poorly chlorinated swimming pools or contaminated tap water.