Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Young surfer dies from rare brain-eating amoeba

Young surfer dies from rare brain-eating amoeba

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are testing the water at BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort in Waco for a brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.

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

Fabrizio Stabile came down with a "severe headache" while mowing his lawn in Ventnor, NJ., on September 16.

"Fabrizio's cerebrospinal fluid tested positive for the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, which caused a rare infection that has only been diagnosed 143 times in the United States in the last 55 years", his family said.

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The surf park where Stabile is suspected to have contracted the infection. He went on to develop symptoms, including brain swelling and fever, and was pronounced brain dead on September 21.

It's unclear if the park remained closed Sunday morning. Other symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations.

The infection has a 97 percent fatality rate, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC notes that, on average, death occurs within one to 18 days of initial symptoms.

The owner of the surf resort, Stuart E. Parsons Jr., said he will continue to comply with requests related to the investigation of Stabile's death. Those infected usually die within about five days.

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According to the CDC, people are typically infected with Naegleria fowleri when diving or swimming in warm freshwater. He loved snowboarding, surfing, and anything to do with friends and family.

He said the surf resort, which operates an artificial man-made wave, is in compliance with the CDC's "guidelines and recommendations concerning Naegleria fowleri".

A spokesperson for the CDC said preliminary testing results from the facility are expected to be returned this week.

He had a keen love for fishing, which led him to work for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Bass Pro Shops.

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