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Thread: Josiah McIntyre (6) died from Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba, which was in the local water supply

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    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Josiah McIntyre (6) died from Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba, which was in the local water supply

    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/new...s-15600188.php

    About a month ago, Josiah McIntyre got sick. First a fever, headaches and vomiting. The 6-year-old?s condition progressively worsened. After a few days, he was admitted into the intensive care unit at Texas Children's Hospital. He was tested for strep, COVID-19 ? everything doctors could think of, but there was no explanation.

    By the time doctors realized he had been affected by an amoeba that eats the brain, it was too late, his relatives said. He died Sept. 8.

    The boy?s grandparents speculate he inhaled water, from a city water supply, at a splash-pad they visited shortly before he became ill. They can?t be certain, but they urged multiple agencies to test the water.

    ?We just want people to be aware that it?s out there,? his grandmother, Natalie McIntyre, said at a fundraising event for the family Saturday afternoon. ?If you?ve been exposed or possibly exposed and you experience those symptoms, get to a hospital and let somebody know.?

    His death prompted water testing that resulted in a startling warning late Friday to Brazoria County-area residents: Don?t use water because it might contain a brain-eating amoeba. The Brazosport Water Authority lifted its ?do not use? advisory later in all areas, except Lake Jackson, according to a news release issued Saturday.

    ?After extensive conversations with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality as well as ensuring that Brazosport Water Authority has an adequate disinfectant residual, a determination has been made that there is no safety issue for BWA?s distribution system,? the release said.

    Resident Norma Santoyo awoke Saturday to a strange message from city officials: She couldn?t make coffee or breakfast, and she definitely couldn?t shower, so she headed to Walmart to buy water.

    ?I?m more afraid of this than COVID,? Santoyo said as she loaded the bottles into her pickup bed. ?What a great year, 2020.?

    Nearby, Robert Mendoza pushed a cart with 80 water bottles and an empty 5-gallon water jug. He plans to go to Houston to fill up the giant bottle.

    He was still at work late Friday when a friend heard about the water advisory issued at 9:30 p.m. that included Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, Rosenberg, Dow Chemical, TDCJ Clemens and TDCJ Wayne Scott.

    ?I didn?t think it was that important,? he said.

    But in the morning, he read a report about the advisory and reassessed.

    ?Today, I took precautions to not get wet at all,? Mendoza said.

    The advisory was originally issued for all areas ?out of an abundance of caution.? TCEQ and the Brazosport Water Authority are working with Lake Jackson officials to fix the issue, according to the release.

    The water is contaminated with naegleria fowleri, a free-living microscopic amoeba, or single-celled living organism commonly found in warm freshwater and soil, according to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, from where it travels to the brain and can cause a rare and debilitating disease called primary amebic sqmeningoencephalitis.

    The infection is usually fatal and typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places such as lakes and rivers.

    Brazosport ISD said they will announce Sunday if any Lake Jackson schools would need to close on Monday because of the water advisory.

    ?Please know that the safety of our students and staff remains a top priority for all decisions made by the district,? the district wrote in a Twitter post.

    Kroger also is sending 250 pallets of water to area stores in Clute, Rosenberg and Angleton because of the water advisory, according to its Corporate Affairs Manager, Clara Campbell.

    In rare instances, naegleria infections also may occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated and contaminated tap water) enters the nose.

    The contamination of U.S.-treated public water systems by the microbe is rare but not unheard of. According to the CDC website, the first deaths from naegleria fowleri found in tap water from treated U.S. public drinking water systems occurred in southern Louisiana in 2011 and 2013.

    The microbe also was found in 2003 in an untreated geothermal well-supplied drinking water system in Arizona, as well as in disinfected public drinking water supplies in Australia in the 1970s and ?80s and in 2008 in Pakistan.

    Carlos Granados, who lives in Clute, was among the lucky whose advisory was lifted by afternoon ? but not before his plans to grab Whataburger were hampered because it was closed, he said. As was McDonald?s.

    ?I haven?t experienced this,? he said. ?I?ve never even heard of it.?

    Meanwhile, relatives remembered Josiah as a peacemaker who refused to exclude others. He loved his family, his dog, Winston, and baseball.

    He enjoyed spending time outdoors, regardless if it was playing hide and seek or taking cuts in his grandpa?s batting cage or playing ball with his father and uncles.

    His love for the Astros also extended deep. When people asked him his name, he would add Carlos Correa to the end.

    On the same day he died, Correa sent the family a video lamenting he never had the opportunity to meet the young boy or give him a hug.

    ?I know he?s watching over all of us right now,? Correa said in the video, a copy of which his grandmother had at hand on her phone, also availing himself to the family. ?I?ll keep you guys in my prayers.?

    His grandfather, Ray, who called him Jo-Jo, remembered the boy as a happy, affectionate child who kept others in mind.

    Among his last words before he stopped being vocal in the ICU were telling his mother he loved her. He spoke about his other grandfather, who had already died, and his dog.

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    His death prompted water testing that resulted in a startling warning late Friday to Brazoria County-area residents: Don't use water because it might contain a brain-eating amoeba.
    That would be a startling warning.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    This is so sad. We have been to several water pads. Most of them use the same recycled water over and over. I would be devastated if this happened to me. RIP Josiah.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    This is so sad. We have been to several water pads. Most of them use the same recycled water over and over. I would be devastated if this happened to me. RIP Josiah.
    Yes, this is heartbreaking and devastating. Not sure what a water pad is, but if it?s something kids play in shouldn?t it be chlorinated?

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    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Yes, this is heartbreaking and devastating. Not sure what a water pad is, but if it?s something kids play in shouldn?t it be chlorinated?
    It is, but that isn't where he got it. They tested the water pad, IT WAS IN THE DRINKING WATER! They had to notify like 8 towns that they couldn't drink the water. The amoeba gets in the water when it is stagnant (so not like the ocean or a flowing stream) and the temp is high. Florida has a a lot of it. When we waterski and jetski we try to be aware of it. You don't want to do anything that will cause the water to go up your nose or ingest it. The waterski complex in Orlando has had a problem with it over the year based on stories I found last year when I was researching this. Sad, because my husband likes to go there and wake board.

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    This is the type of stuff that gives me nightmares. The local reservoir supplies NYC with their water and it is supposed to be fabulous. I was told our local water comes from a natural lake; however, I don't drink it. I have a bunch of glass half-gallon bottles that I take to one of the natural springs. The water is constantly flowing and never stagnant, even in the winter. Where I stay when I'm in Florida has a natural spring within 1 mile of the house.

    https://findaspring.com/

    I will use bottled water for washing out my sinuses, but I bought one that has a built-in water filter.
    Last edited by up2trouble; 09-27-2020 at 01:33 PM.

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    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    You can get Giardia from drinking water too. My BIL has worked at several water treatment plants and claims our water is pure, but i dont drink tap water.

    I wonder why he was the only one in the area to get sick and die with so many towns affected? Could he have gotten water up his nose in the shower?

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

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    Senior Member JohnLanders's Avatar
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    Damn and now one has to wonder how many more people have been hit by Naegleria fowleri which is still being verified here though.

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    https://www.click2houston.com/news/l...files-lawsuit/

    HOUSTON – The family of a Lake Jackson boy killed by a brain-eating amoeba in the water supply has filed a lawsuit.

    The city of Lake Jackson and the Brazosport Water Authority are being sued for more than $1M. Will Langley, the attorney representing the family of Josiah McIntyre say BWA and the city were negligent.

    “At the end of the day, no amount of money is going to bring Josiah back to his family. No amount of money can make this right. But it’s important those two responsible are held accountable otherwise that’s why this happens again and again and again,” Langley said.

    Langley said a deadly brain-eating amoeba was able to grow in the city’s water supply because tests discovered there wasn’t enough chlorine.

    “If the water supply was tested and tested frequently this could have been detected and could have been prevented,” he added. “It’s not as though people don’t know how to protect people from this amoeba. There have been other cases before, people are aware of this danger.”

    Josiah, 6, was playing in the water at a city splash pad on Aug. 29, outside of the Civic Center.

    City and state officials believe water splashed into his nose allowing Naegleria Fowleri, the deadly amoeba, to travel to Josiah’s brain. The 6-year-old died a week later.

    His grandmother, Natalie McIntyre, said she hopes Josiah’s tragic death will bring awareness.

    “We never in our wildest imaginations would have imagined that this would have been something that would take out little boy from us,” Natalie McIntyre. “So, we just don’t want to see it happen to anyone else ever again.”

    A few weeks after Josiah’s death, the city of Lake Jackson issued a boil water advisory. The state distributed bottled water to residents in need. Gov. Greg Abbott made a trip to Lake Jackson last September promising the state would find out how this happened. The Center for Disease Control was also called in to test the water supply.

    “I know the family appreciates that the city and state took it seriously after the fact,” Langley said. “We just wish more cities would take it seriously ahead of time to prevent these kinds of things from happening.

    Josiah’s father, Anthony McIntyre, said his son loved the outdoors as much as he did baseball. He said the last few months without Josiah have been tough on the entire family.

    “He (Josiah) definitely knew how to make you smile and he’s still doing it to this day,” Anthony McIntyre said. “It’s going to be hard. Very hard.”

    Modesto Mundo, city manager for Lake Jackson, said in a statement that they received the family’s petition.

    “Josiah’s death was a terrible tragedy and the city holds no ill feelings against the family for filing the lawsuit,” Mundo said.

    He said the city will decide which path they wish to take. Mundo also said the lawsuit was not unexpected

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