Texas county on alert over brain-eating amoeba after death of six-year-old
(Reuters) - Texas has stepped up efforts to counter the threat posed by a brain-eating amoeba detected in the water supply of a coastal county that led to the death of a 6-year-old boy earlier this month. Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday issued a disaster declaration for Brazoria County after Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic amoeba, was found in the water supply of the city of Lake Jackson in the greater Houston metropolitan area. 'You don’t hear about this stuff until it happens to you
(Reuters) - Texas has stepped up efforts to counter the threat posed by a brain-eating amoeba detected in the water supply of a coastal county that led to the death of a 6-year-old boy earlier this month.
Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday issued a disaster declaration for Brazoria County after Naegleria fowleri, a microscopic amoeba, was found in the water supply of the city of Lake Jackson in the greater Houston metropolitan area.
"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 who died after contracting a brain infection caused by the amoeba, wrote in a recent Facebook post.
The single-celled organism is commonly found in warm freshwater and soil, and it usually infects people when it enters the body through the nose, traveling up to the brain where it causes a rare and often deadly infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although infections from Naegleria fowleri are rare, the fatality rate is over 97%. Only four people out of 145 known infected individuals in the United States from 1962 to 2018 have survived, according to the CDC.
Officials in Lake Jackson launched an investigation into the local water supply after they were notified about the boy's case in early September. His family had indicated two possible water sources in Lake Jackson were the boy could have been exposed to the amoeba, a city splash pad and a hose at his home.
Tests on the water at these and other locations detected Naegleria fowleri in three of 11 samples, according to a statement from the city.
Officials are urging Lake Jackson residents to boil tap water for drinking and cooking.
(Reporting by Maria Caspani; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.