The Texas health department has issued an advisory to Texans who have been drinking bottled water in recent weeks, warning that a high risk of waterborne illnesses and infections is increasing in areas around Houston and surrounding areas.
The department says that “contaminated drinking water is not safe.”
The advisory comes as many communities are grappling with the fallout from the city’s water crisis and the possible return of lead contamination.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday that it was sending additional staff to help state and local authorities investigate a spike in lead poisoning cases.
“We want to remind residents and visitors that they are strongly encouraged to keep bottled water at home and avoid the consumption of tap water,” said the agency’s deputy director, Dr. David Anderson.
“If you do have concerns, contact your local water authority or your local health department.
We will provide additional information in the coming days.”
The CDC also released a statement that said, “We are working to address the public health risks associated with drinking contaminated tap water.”
The agency has been working with water utilities to get more information about how lead is found in tap water.
As the Houston area has been grappling with lead contamination, other states have issued their own advisories, urging residents to drink bottled water and avoid consumption.
According to a report from the CDC, more than 4,500 people have been diagnosed with lead poisoning since the beginning of this year.
Lead poisoning can lead to seizures, cognitive problems and other health problems, according to the CDC.
A similar spike in cases was reported in New York last week, which has also had to temporarily halt all outdoor water use in some areas.