SAN ANTONIO – A Texas parent is speaking out after losing his son to fresh water amoebas -- the same organism that is suspected in a Minnesota boy's death.
"We can't even look at fresh water now without thinking of murder or the terrorist that took our son," said Jeremy Lewis.
Lewis is talking about Naegleria fowleri, an unseen and deadly danger that lurks in lakes, rivers and ponds when the water temperature rises.
"If the water temperature is ... 79 (degrees) or higher, it basically comes to life, hatches, and it swims to the top of the water," Lewis said.
The amoeba was found in the spinal fluid of Lewis' 7-year-old son after spending time in a Dallas-area lake two years ago.
The brain-eating amoeba more than likely traveled through his sinus cavity, doctors said.
"The child will jump in the water or even just be splashing on the shoreline, and it'll enter into the nose and it hooks into the olfactory nerve," Lewis said.
Lewis said the risk is too great to even get in a lake this time of year, but if you must, he has a few suggestions.
"(Use) swim masks or just simply keep your head above water," Lewis said. "I would just go find a chlorinated pool somewhere."
The fast-acting amoeba took his son's life in just four days, Lewis said.
With three deaths reported around the nations already this summer, Lewis is eager to get the word out.
If you'd like to hear more about Lewis' story or get more information about Naegleria fowleri, you can check out his website at kylecares.com.