That title is pretty scary, huh? Well, this might sound like the opening sequence of a hit science-fiction film from the 1950s, but it's not. It's actually the headline of an article published just 14 hours ago by The Guardian. A deadly bacteria, Naegleria fowleri, has been reportedly found in public water supplies in and around the Houston Texas area. The area that is affected is populated by more than 120,000 residents.
Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in warm freshwater and enters your brain through the nose. After the amoeba enters your nose, it travels to your brain and causes a disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis. Shockingly, this is not the first time that this brain-eating bacteria has been found in tapwater in the United States. According to this article, this bacteria has been found on at least two other occasions within the last 20 years.
If this amoeba enters your cranial cavity, it is usually untreatable and fatal. This bacteria literally eats your brain for its nutrition. Most often, physicians do not have a way of stopping it from doing so due to the blood-brain barrier.
Officials from the Houston water authority are actively working to decontaminate the water and are keeping residents on high alert. They are advising residents to not use water for any other reason other than flushing the toilet. Of course, this includes not using tap water in order to shower or cook. No information was given as to how long the decontamination process is going to take, or where and how exactly this deadly brain-eating bacteria got into Houston tapwater. Reference: Associated Press. (2020, Sept 26). Texas residents warned of tap water tainted with brain-eating microbe. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/26/texas-tap-water-tainted-brain-eating-microbe