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

Alicia Farmer
October 1, 2018

Fabrizio Stabile, 29, visited the BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas, where it's suspected he contracted the rare amoeba Naegleria fowleri, an infection so rare it's only been diagnosed 143 times in the United States since 1962.

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

The infection is extremely rare, but very deadly.

It's unclear if the park remained closed Sunday morning. The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals.

It usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose.

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BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. said the parks' "hearts and prayers" were with the "family, friends and the New Jersey surf community during this hard time".

CDC spokesperson Candice Burns Hoffmann said that preliminary test results should be ready next week and will provide recommendations to BSR Surf Resort for reducing potential exposures in the future, as reported by the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic amoeba which is a single-celled living organism. Water system officials found out about the test results Friday. Most infections occur from exposure to contaminated recreational water.

The CDC also reports that there have been 34 reported cases of the "brain-eating amoeba" since 2008, of which only four of those who were infected survived. Those infected usually die within about five days.

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