Published: Mon, October 01, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Texas surf resort closed for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ testing

Texas surf resort closed for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ testing

A Texas water park has been closed for testing after a past visitor succumbed to the so-called "brain-eating amoeba".

The 29-year-old from the Jersey beach town of Ventnor fell ill after visiting a wave pool at BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort in Waco last month.

Fabrizio Stabile, 29, died Friday from Naegleria fowleri, a bacteria-eating amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater and soil and that's only affected 34 people over the past decade.

Stabile's obituary remembers him as "an avid outdoorsman".

"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".

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

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

Doctors first thought he was suffering from meningitis, but tests revealed he had Naegleria fowleri the day before his death, when it was too late to treat the infection.

The CDC told that it is assisting the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District on the investigation into a potential Naegleria fowleri exposure at an aquatic facility in Texas.

Only four people out of 143 infected in the United States between 1962 and 2017 have survived, according to the CDC. Those infected usually die within about five days. He loved snowboarding, surfing, and anything to do with friends and family.

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

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". "Overall he had a keen love for fishing", the post said.

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