Following the death of a six-year-old boy infected with a brain-eating amoeba that was later found in the city's water supply, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas has issued a disaster declaration.
The boy died on September 8 after an infection caused by the amoeba - Naegleria fowleri - a single-celled organism that breeds in the warm, freshwater lakes, rivers and poorly maintained swimming pools. The organism, which enters the body through the nose, penetrates to the brain. It then causes severe migraine, hyperthermia, stiff neck, vomiting, dizziness, extreme fatigue, confusion and hallucinations.
"You don't hear about this stuff until it happens to you. You don't think you'll be that 1 in 72 million until it happens to you," Maria Castillo, the mother of the boy was quoted as saying by Al Jazeera.
After tests were carried out, it was revealed that the traces of the amoeba were found in the tap of the garden hose at the boy's house, according to a spokesman for the town of Lake Jackson. In addition, traces were found in a fountain in the town centre as well as in a fire hydrant in a town around an hour away from the major city of Houston, said Modesto Mundo, a city official, according to AFP.
While the 'Naegleria fowleri' infections are rare, the death rate is over 97 per cent. Of the 145 known people infected in the US between 1962 to 2018, only four have survived, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The officials have urged Lake Jackson residents to boil tap water for drinking and cooking.