New Jersey surfer dies from brain-eating amoeba

Alicia Farmer
October 2, 2018

A surf park in Waco has closed for testing after a New Jersey man died earlier this month from a rare brain infection caused by an amoeba.

Fabrizio Stabile, of Ventor, reportedly contracted the amoeba from a wave pool at a surf resort in central Texas. Per WFAA, the BSR Surf Resort in Waco chose to close down its wave pool while the CDC tests the water for the microbe, whose scientific name is Naegleria fowleri.

Stabile, an avid outdoorsman with a passion for surfing, snowboarding and fishing, had returned home when he began suffering a severe headache while mowing his lawn on September 16, loved ones said.

Fabrizio Stabile, 29 died just one day after he was diagnosed with Naegleria fowleri, according to a GoFundMe page created by his family.

Three of those survivors were treated with drug therapy, but in Stabile's case it was too late to administer the medication.

The owner of the resort, Stuart E. Parsons Jr., said he will comply with requests related to the investigation of Stabile's death, noting the resort is in compliance with the CDC's "guidelines and recommendations concerning Naegleria fowleri".

The amoeba is found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers and hot springs.

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Infections can happen when contaminated water enters the body through the nose.

Stabile's family have launched a GoFundMe for the Fabrizio Stabile Foundation for Naegleria Fowleri Awareness, in hopes of educating more people about the infection.

The Waco Tribune-Herald reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is testing at BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort, which voluntarily closed on Friday.

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

However, people will not be infected by Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water.

The infection can not be passed from person to person and typically occurs during the summer months of July, August and September.

Stabile was an avid outdoorsman who loved snowboarding, surfing, and anything to do with friends and family, according to an obituary published by The Press of Atlantic City. The fatality rate is over 97 percent, with only four people surviving the infection, according to statistics kept since 1962.

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