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Lake Jackson takes responsibility for deadly brain-eating amoeba that killed 6-year-old boy, city manager says

HOUSTONLake Jackson city manager Modesto Mundo said the city takes “responsibility” for the brain-eating amoeba that killed 6-year-old Josiah McIntye on Friday during a press conference.

Mundo said water testing results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that only the splash pad storage tank created the environment where the brain-eating amoeba could become viable.

The CDC also completed an analysis of the genotype of the amoeba, which confirmed that the amoeba in the splash pad was the same type that caused the child to develop the fatal illness.

“As the city manager and father, I needed to determine the cause of Josiah’s death,” Mundo said. “The city now accepts these results and the responsibility that they bring with them."

Mundo said the splash pad is closed, and it will not be reopened or converted until after discussions with the McIntye family and the city council.

“We never want this event to happen again in Lake Jackson nor to any family," he said.

Mundo said he wants to ensure residents that “the water is safe to drink and use at this time.” The “boil water” notice was lifted on Oct. 6, which was the first step to restoring the water supply in Lake Jackson.

He said the city’s current chlorine residual levels, a measure which determines the safety of the water supply, show no threat of exposure of N. Fowleri.

However, the city must continue the 60-day process of using free chlorine to flush the system. During this period, the city will continue to have to restrict water usage to limit the strain on the water wells.

“Because we know some residents are still worried about the integrity of the water system, at the end of 60 days, we are working with the CDC and the (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) to retest the system for the amoeba," he said.

Over the next few years, Mayor Bob Sipple and officials said Lake Jackson will begin the process of improving the water system.

“We will begin the long road to improve our distribution system and ensure residents that their water is safe to drink,” Mundo said.

Sipple, who has been leading Lake Jackson for almost nine years, also thanked residents and businesses for their patience, efforts and compassion they showed during the water crisis. He also thanked regional and state officials for their assistance.

“Lake Jackson is a strong city of faith. We will get through this,” Sipple said.

Here is the full press conference from Lake Jackson officials:

Lake Jackson water testing update

The city of Lake Jackson plans to announce the results of the water testing performed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. READ MORE: https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/10/09/watch-live-lake-jackson-officials-announce-results-of-water-testing-by-state/

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Friday, October 9, 2020

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