Boy dies after catching brain-eating bug from water at public park’s splash pad

A boy died after contracting a brain-eating amoeba from a public park's splash pad amusement in Texas.

The boy had been on the splash pad in Arlington's Don Misenhimer Park in Texas several times over the summer and despite initially showing uncertainty as to where the culpability lay, the city has now said the death could have been because of human error.

The Tarrant County Public Health Department first said in a statement it "determined two possible sources for the child’s exposure to water containing Naegleria fowleri: the family’s home in Tarrant County or the Don Misenhimer Park splash pad in Arlington."

Officials in Arlington, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, said the city and Tarrant County Public Health were notified on September 5th that a child had been hospitalised because of a rare infection.

The bodies then closed all their parks with splash pads while they investigated.

The unnamed boy died six days later and now, officials have admitted that there were "gaps" in their inspections of the attractions. Records even showed that, in some cases, workers did not conduct water quality inspections at all, according to KSAT.

“We have identified gaps in our daily inspection program. Those gaps resulted in us not meeting our maintenance standards at our splash pads," said Deputy City Manager Lemuel Randolph.

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According to city records cited by NBCDFW, "Parks and Recreation employees did not consistently record, or in some cases did not conduct, water quality testing that is required prior to the facilities opening each day."

The boy suffered from a primary amebic meningoencephalitis infection. There have only been 34 such cases in the US between 2010 and 2019, according to the CDC.

People usually become infected when contaminated water enters the body through the nose, The Sun reported.

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