A Texas child’s trip to a splash pad took a deadly, devastating turn, officials in Austin revealed on Monday. The child died earlier this month from a rare brain-eating amoeba known as N. fowleri after visiting the Don Misenhimer Park splash pad several times in a few weeks. A city review has since found that water quality testing is not up to scratch at several parks, and every public splash pad has been closed while the situation is addressed.
The CDC confirmed the amoeba was found in Don Misenhimer Park’s water samples. N. fowleri typically enters through the nose and travels to the brain to destroy the brain’s frontal lobe. The symptoms of the resulting infection, called primary amebic meningoencephalitis, include fever, headaches, stiff neck, seizures, hallucinations, and death. There were 34 reported cases in the U.S. between 2010 and 2019. Thirty of those cases were from infected water at recreational parks.