Published: Tue, October 02, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

CDC Testing Waco Wave Pool for 'Brain-Eating Amoeba'

CDC Testing Waco Wave Pool for 'Brain-Eating Amoeba'

Though it's unclear exactly how the man, 29-year-old Fabrizio Stabile, got the amoeba, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now investigating BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort in Waco, Texas, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported on September 28.

Meanwhile, the BSR Surf Resort voluntarily closed its doors until the results of the analysis determine whether the surfer was infected, or not, in the artificial wave pool. The agency is testing for Naegleria fowleri, colloquially known as a "brain-eating amoeba".

Stabile died the following day. Parsons added that his park follows all CDC "guidelines and recommendations concerning Naegleria fowleri".

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.

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. If water containing the amoeba goes up the nose, it can cause an infection that is fatal 97 percent of the time.

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Stabile's obituary said that he passed away surrounded by his family on Friday, September 21 at the Atlantic City Medical Center.

"Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community during this hard time", the owner of BSR Cable Park, Stuart Parsons, told the Waco Tribune-Herald.

In the wake of Stabile's death his family founded the Fabrizio Stabile Foundation for Naegleria Fowleri Awareness - which has raised more than $22,000 in less than a week via a GoFundMe page.

He added: '"Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community during this hard time".

The infection is very rare, as about 35 cases have been reported in the the last decade, officials said. Out of the 143 people that have contracted the disease since 1962, only four have survived according to the CDC website. "We hope to have results by the end of the week", said Kelly Craine, a spokesperson for Waco-McLennan County Public Health District. The infection can not be spread from one person to another.

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