Child dies from brain-eating amoeba after being infected at splash pad 2 months ago

Child dies from brain-eating amoeba after being infected at splash pad

Gaps were identified in the splash pad's daily inspection program.

A young boy in the US has died from a rare brain-eating amoeba that he was infected with while using a public splash pad.

The child died on September 11 after being hospitalised with primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a rare and often fatal infection caused by the naegleria fowleri amoeba.

Tests confirmed the amoeba was found at a splash pad the boy had visited in Arlington, Texas, according to officials.

City officials reportedly drew water samples from the splash pad and sent them for further testing. It was later confirmed the amoeba was present in the water samples, with officials citing the splash pad as the most likely source of the child's exposure.


The splash pad was closed after city officials were alerted to the boy's illness and will remain so for the remainder of the year, alongside all other public splash pads in the city of Arlington, "out of an abundance of caution."

A review "identified gaps" in the splash pad's "daily inspection programme," according to Deputy City Manager Lemuel Randolph, as records from two of the city's splash pads show Parks and Recreation workers didn’t consistently record or conduct the water quality testing required prior to the facilities' opening everyday.

"Those gaps resulted in us not meeting our maintenance standards at our splash pads," he said.