Surfer Dies After Contracting Extremely Rare 'Brain-Eating Amoeba'

Ebony Scott
October 3, 2018

A surf resort in Waco, Texas, has closed temporarily a week after a surfer contracted Naegleria fowleri, known as brain-eating amoeba.

"We were hopeful until the end, but unfortunately, on Friday September 21st we learned the heart-breaking news that Fabrizio was pronounced brain dead as a result of this brain-eating amoeba".

BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. says it will also continue to comply with requests related to the investigation of Fabrizio Stabile's death.

The fatality rate is over 97 percent and only four of 143 known infected individuals in the United States from 1962 to 2017 have survived.

You can not be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water and the amoeba is not found in salt water.

"When his mother went to check on him in the early afternoon, Fabrizio could not get out of bed and could not speak coherently". Symptoms generally start about five days after infection, with death occurring about five days later, according to the CDC. He underwent more tests until he tested positive for nagleria fowleri, which has a 98 percent fatality rate.

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Samples from the pool have been collected for testing, with preliminary results expected later this week.

Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic amoeba commonly found in warm freshwaters like lakes, rivers, and hot springs around the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of balance and seizures.

Stabile, an avid surfer and snowboarder, had worked for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in addition to Bass Pro Shops, an outdoor equipment establishment in Atlantic City, according to his obituary. 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".

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is now investigating the case and BSR has voluntarily ceased operation until conclusive results are available.

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