Published: Wed, October 03, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Man dies of 'brain-eating amoeba' at surf resort in Texas

Man dies of 'brain-eating amoeba' at surf resort in Texas

BSR Cable Park voluntarily closed after the CDC required testing of its waters after learning that a New Jersey man, who recently died, had been a guest at the park.

Stabile was mowing his lawn on September 16, when he experienced a severe headache and went to lie down, family friend Stephanie Papastephanou wrote on GoFundMe. Stabile's headache, fever, confusion, and brain swelling all pointed to some type of bacterial meningitis - a severe and often life-threatening inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain.

Only four people of the 143 infected with the amoeba in the United States between 1962 and 2017 have survived.

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The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is a free-living amoeba found in warm freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers, which feeds on bacteria but can cause a lethal infection in humans.

NJ.com reported that by the time he was diagnosed, it was "too late to administer the drug that has been given to three of the only five survivors in North America".

CDC crews collected water samples hoping to find the source of the contamination.

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It's unclear how Stabile contracted the brain-eating amoeba, but the BSR Surf Resort shut down Friday while the CDC conducts an investigation, Kelly Craine, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District spokesperson, told the Waco Tribune.

Stuart Parsons, the park owner, said in a statement that it will remain closed until the testing is completed.

Stabile's family has 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", they said on GoFundMe. Once it travels through the nose it causes a devastating brain infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

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Stabile, known as "Fab", was a keen outdoors lover who had a passion for fishing, surfing and snowboarding, his obituary in the Press of Atlantic City said. The CDC notes that, on average, death occurs within one to 18 days of initial symptoms. He said the facility was cooperating with health officials.

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