Arlington, Texas — A child has died after being infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba that was found in a Texas splash pad, and a review found flaws in water quality testing at several parks , officials said on Monday.
Officials in Arlington, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, said the city and Tarrant County Public Health were notified on September 5 that a child had been hospitalized with primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. It is a rare and often fatal infection. The boy, who was not identified by officials, died in hospital on September 11.
Health officials launched an investigation after the child was diagnosed with the disease and closed all public splash pads in the city. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the presence of the amoebae in water samples from the Don Meisenheimer Park splash pad on Friday, city officials said.
A review “identified gaps in our daily inspection schedule,” said deputy city manager Lemuel Randolph. “Those gaps resulted in us not meeting our maintenance standards on our splash pads.”
City officials say the records of two of the four splash pads at Don Meisenheimer Park and Beacon Recreation Center – park and recreation staff did not consistently record, or in some cases do not test water quality, that were before. Necessary. facilities open every day
City officials say a review of inspection logs at the Don Meisenheimer splash pad found that water chlorination readings were not documented on two of three dates, when the child was in late August and early September.
City officials say Arlington’s drinking water supply was not affected, and the splash pad is equipped with a backflow prevention device designed to separate its water from the city’s water distribution system.
The CDC says Naegleria fowleri infections are rare, with only 34 reported in the US from 2010 to 2019. People become infected when water containing amoeba enters the body through the nose, usually when people go swimming or diving in lakes and rivers.