Waco resort closes after surfer dies from 'brain-eating amoeba'

Lynn Cook
October 4, 2018

The stir began last month, when New Jersey's Fabrizio Stabile visited a Texas wave pool and tragically ingested the deadly amoeba.

WACO, Texas ― A 29-year-old surfer from New Jersey has died from what is being referred to as a "brain-eating amoeba" after visiting a resort in Waco, Texas.

A GoFundMe page - set up by Stabile's friends and family to raise awareness about PAM - writes that Stabile's symptoms first appeared on the afternoon of September 16, when he experienced an intense headache that forced him to take pain medication and lie down.

But the "brain-eating amoeba" infections can also occur in inadequately chlorinated swimming pools or heated and contaminated tap water, hot springs, geothermal drinking water, and water heaters.

Stabile, whose family said he was an avid outdoorsman who loved to surf, had been at the park on vacation.

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

Officials with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention are testing the Waco surf resort's water for Naegleria fowleri. If water containing the amoeba goes up the nose, it can cause an infection that is fatal 97 percent of the time.

Parsons said Stabile had been in the park's wave pool.

The CDC will continue to investigate the surf resort in Waco. Of the 143 cases reported, only four people survived.

The resort, BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort, has voluntarily closed pending test results for the amoeba.

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"Under pressure, the park shuttered the water feature for almost two months and a federal epidemiologist found that filtration and disinfection systems were inadequate to properly clean the facility's turbid waters", the newspaper reported.

"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.

A person can be contaminated with the amoeba while swimming or diving.

A GoFundMe page has been created by Stabile's family and friends to help bring awareness to the rare but preventable infection.

The park remains closed pending the findings of the CDC.

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