Boy dies from brain-eating amoeba at Texas splash pad

Boy dies from brain-eating amoeba at Texas splash pad
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Arlington, Texas, police said a boy died after being infected by a brain-eating amoeba found at a local splash pad, The Associated Press reported.

Authorities said that officials and Tarrant County Public Health were notified earlier this month about a child being hospitalized with primary amebic meningoencephalitis. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), primary amebic meningoencephalitis is a rare, often fatal brain-eating disease caused by the naegleria fowleri amoeba.

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County health officials began to investigate the child’s illness by closing all the city's public splash pads, according to the AP. 

Health officials shared that employees at two local splash pads, Don Misenhimer Park and the Beacon Recreation Center, did not conduct the water quality tests facilities need to do daily. 

The CDC confirmed that city officials on Friday found the amoeba in water samples from the Don Misenhimer Park splash pad, the AP reported. 

“[A review] identified gaps in our daily inspection program,” Deputy City Manager Lemuel Randolph told the AP. “Those gaps resulted in us not meeting our maintenance standards at our splash pads.”

This comes as officials said that Arlington’s drinking water was not affected due to the splash pads being equipped with backflow prevention devices, which are used to isolate water from the city’s water system.  

The boy, not identified by officials, died from the disease on Sept. 11, the AP noted.