LAKE JACKSON, Texas (KXAN/WKRN) — Residents of Lake Jackson, a town south of Houston, are being warned not to use their tap water because a brain-eating microbe could be inside it.
On Friday, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality warned the Brazosport Water Authority that the city’s water supply could be contaminated with naegleria fowleria, according to The Guardian.
Originally, Brazosport Water Authority users in multiple areas were warned not to use the water. However, the advisory was since lifted for those areas.
The area affected houses about 120,000 people, the Guardian reports.
Naegleria fowleri is a free-living microscopic single-celled living organism that can cause rare and devastating infection of the brain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater and soil.
The CDC says once the amoeba enters the nose, it travels to a person’s brain where it causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis, which is usually fatal. You cannot get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria, the CDC says, however.