Man dies of brain-eating amoeba after visiting water park

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Page organizer Stephanie Papastephanou wrote that while Stabile was mowing his lawn on the afternoon of Sunday September 16, he suddenly experienced a severe headache and went to lie down. An obituary in The Press of Atlantic City describes Stabile as an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing, surfing and snowboarding.

Frabrizio Stabile, of Ventor, New Jersey, died on September 21, days after visiting BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort in Waco, Texas. Those infected usually die within about five days. He attempted to sleep again, but woke up later speaking incoherently and couldn't get out of bed, his family said.

The waterpark voluntarily closed Friday as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention test its waters, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District spokesperson Kelly Craine told the Waco Tribune-Herald.

An artist's rendering of the newly opened wave pool at BSR Cable Park Surf Resort, in Waco, where Stabile is feared to have picked up the brain-eating amoeba that killed him (Picture: BSR Cable Park Surf Resort) Naegleria fowleri pictured under a microscope.

"Fabrizio's cerebrospinal fluid tested positive for the amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, which caused a rare infection that has only been diagnosed 143 times in the United States in the last 55 years", his family said.

Naegleria fowleri infections are rare.

The single-celled organism is commonly found in warm freshwater, such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs, as well as in soil. He later died of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis caused by the amoeba.

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The disease, according to the CDC, is nearly always fatal, with only four people out of 143 cases have survived the infection. The infection occurs when the amoeba enters a victim through the nose, where it then travels to the brain and consumes brain cells, leading to death in over 95% of cases, even with treatment.

You can not get infected from swallowing water contaminated with Naegleria.

Officials with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention are testing the Waco surf resort's water for Naegleria fowleri.

"BSR Surf Resort operates a state of the art artificial man-made wave", he said.

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

A GoFundMe page has been set up as The Fabrizio Stabile Foundation, where more than US$22,000 of a $50,000 target has been raised so far.

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.

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