Surfer dies from brain eating amoeba after visiting Waco, Texas, resort

Brittany Mendoza
October 1, 2018

An artist's rendering of the newly opened wave pool at BSR Cable Park Surf Resort, in Waco, where Stabile is feared to have picked up the brain-eating amoeba that killed him (Picture: BSR Cable Park Surf Resort) Naegleria fowleri pictured under a microscope.

Fabrizio Stabile, 29, from New Jersey, had recently visited the wave pool of a surf resort in Texas.

Fabrizio "Fab" Stabile, 29, of Ventnor, N.J., died September 21 - five days after complaining of a severe, sudden headache.

Stabile, whose family said he was an avid outdoorsman who loved to surf, had been at the park on vacation. He died at a hospital in Atlantic City on September 21.

It's unclear if the park remained closed Sunday morning and the CDC did not immediately respond to The Associated Press' call seeking information on whether others who visited could have Naegleria fowleri. Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations.

"After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within about 5 days (range 1 to 12 days)", the agency said.

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On Thursday, he tested positive for Naegleria fowleri - an infection that has only affected 34 people between 2008 to 2017, according to the CDC.

The Centers for Disease Control announced Friday that it is testing the waters at BSR Cable Park Surf Resort, in Waco, Tx., amid fears Stabile contracted the illness there. He died the next day. Preliminary testing results should be ready later next week.

Infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater places, like lakes and rivers.

In a statement it said: "CDC is testing water samples for Naegleria fowleri and will be working with the health department on recommendations to provide the facility on how to reduce potential exposures. Overall, he had a keen love for fishing".

The surf resort has closed pending the test results from the CDC, he said.

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