ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — A child has died after being infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba found on a splash pad in Texas.
Officials in Arlington Monday’s statement said that Tarrant County Public Health and the city were notified by Sept. 5 that a child was being treated for primary amebic meningoencephalitis. This is a rare, often fatal, infection.
The boy was pronounced dead on September 11. All of the city’s public fenders were shut down by health officials.
The boy had visited Don Misenhimer Park’s splash pad many times in recent weeks. On Friday, water samples from that park were tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A city review revealed several errors in water quality testing at parks.
“Those gaps prevented us from meeting our maintenance standards for our mudguards. All fenders will remain closed until we are confident that our systems are working properly and we have confirmed a maintenance protocol that is consistent with city, county and state standards,” said Deputy City Manager Lemuel Randolph.
Officials state that the risk of getting infected with this amoeba type is low. There have been only 34 cases of infection reported in the US between 2010-2019. It can infect people when amoeba-contaminated water enters the body via the nose. This usually happens while they are swimming or diving. Warm freshwater areas such as rivers and lakes.
Officials say that in rare cases the ameba may have been found in other sources such as unchlorinated swimming pools water or heated and contaminated drinking water.