'Brain-eating amoeba' kills man at Texas surf resort

Simon Moss
October 4, 2018

A New Jersey surfer is dead after contracting a rare and deadly "brain-eating amoeba" weeks after he swam at a water resort in Texas.

The GoFundMe page announcing the death of Fabrizio Stabile, 29, of Ventnor, N.J., one town over from Atlantic City, indicated that Stabile suddenly came down with a severe headache while mowing his lawn on September 16 and died on September 21.

An out-of-state patient diagnosed with a brain-eating amoeba prompted the closure of a Waco water park.

Known as "Fab", Stabile was born in Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania, and loved spending time outdoors, according to his obituary in the Press of Atlantic City.

A person can not become infected by drinking water contaminated with N. fowleri, the CDC says.

The amoeba, also known as Naegleria fowleri, is "incredibly rare", but is naturally occurring in warm, fresh and sometimes stagnant water.

"Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community during this hard time", Parsons said.

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Symptoms typically show from one to nine days after the amoeba is contracted and people usually die within about two weeks, according to the CDC. If water containing the amoeba goes up the nose, it can cause an infection that is fatal 97 percent of the time.

Parsons said his resort's wave pool is in compliance with the CDC's "guidelines and recommendations concerning Naegleria fowleri". He later died of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis caused by the amoeba.

The CDC will continue to investigate the surf resort in Waco.

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

"We created The Fabrizio Stabile Foundation for Naegleria Fowleri Awareness to bring awareness to, and educate as many people as possible about, this rare and preventable infection". Swallowing water contaminated by the amoeba can not cause the infection. Out of the 143 people that have contracted the disease since 1962, only four have survived according to the CDC website.

N. fowleri infections are extremely rare: From 1962 to 2017, 143 cases were reported in the USA, according to the CDC.

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