Governor Greg Abbott declared a disaster in Brazoria County after the amoeba Naegleria fowleri was discovered in the water network of Lake Jackson, located in the Houston metropolitan area.You don’t hear about such things until it happens to you. You don’t think you could be that 72 million person until it happens to you, “said Maria Castillo, the mother of the boy who died in early September after developing a brain infection caused by that amoeba.

Naegleria fowleri is frequently found in high-temperature soil and fresh water and enters the body through the nose, then travels to the brain, where it triggers a rare but often fatal form of infection, according to specialists at the Center for Disease Prevention and Control. (CDC) of the United States. Although cases of Naegleria fowleri infection are rare, the death rate is over 97%. Only four of the 145 people known to be infected with Naegleria fowleri in the United States from 1962 to 2018 survived, Reuters notes, citing the CDC.

Lake Jackson residents are advised to boil tap water before drinking or cooking.