Boy dies after being infected with a brain-eating amoeba at a Texas splash pad

Naegleria fowleri amoeba 130815
  • A boy died in Arlington, Texas, after catching an infection at a local splash pool.
  • The child was hospitalized with a brain infection caused by a rare amoeba.
  • His death prompted an investigation that revealed lapses in water-quality testing.
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A child died of a brain infection caused by a rare amoeba after visiting a contaminated splash pad in Arlington, Texas, the Associated Press reported.

The boy, who was not identified by officials, was hospitalized for a week before he died on September 11. His diagnosis was primary amebic meningoencephalitis, an aggressive infection caused by the naegleria fowleri amoeba.

Health officials closed all of the local splash pads and opened an investigation as soon as they were notified of the boy’s illness. Their inquiry not only confirmed the presence of the amoeba at the Don Misenheimer Park splash pad, but also revealed lapses in water-quality testing at several other locations.

City officials told the AP that two of the four splash pads in town had inconsistencies in their testing logs. In some cases, Parks and Recreation employees failed to record the water chlorination levels or did not test the water at all.

Some of the gaps in chlorination readings lined up with the dates the child visited the Don Misenhimer splash pad in late August and early September.

The city’s drinking water was not affected because it comes from an isolated system, officials said.