Texas surf resort closed for 'brain-eating amoeba' testing

Tragedy Waco Tank closed as CDC tests for “brain eating amoeba.”
 By Chas Smith
6 hours ago

Tragedy Waco Tank closed as CDC tests for “brain eating amoeba.” By Chas Smith 6 hours ago

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.

The GoFundMe page announcing the death of Fabrizio Stabile, 29, of Ventnor, N.J., one town over from Atlantic City, indicated that Stabile suddenly came down with a severe headache while mowing his lawn on September 16 and died on September 21.

Eighteen-year-old Lauren Seitz of OH died in June 2016 after she contracted the brain-eating amoeba after rafting with a church group at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C., the Charlotte Observer reported.

Stabile's obituary describes him as an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing, surfing and snowboarding.

Kelly Craine, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District spokesperson said, "The CDC collected water samples and are now investigating to find the source".

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N. fowleri is an amoeba found in warm fresh water, according to the CDC. The CDC notes that the disease usually causes death within about five days of the start of symptoms.

"The worst-case scenario was unfolding in front of our eyes as we learned that this infection results in a 98% fatality rate", the GoFundMe page said. Infection happens when the Naegleria fowleri enters the nose and travel to the brain where it causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.

The surf park voluntarily closed on Friday pending a CDC investigation, reported local media, and is complying with local health departments.

According to the CDC, people are typically infected with Naegleria fowleri when diving or swimming in warm freshwater. He subsequently died of the infection on September 16, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help create a foundation in his honor and to raise awareness of the rare but preventable infection. Its symptoms mimic those of bacterial meningitis and include fever, headache, and nausea.

The CDC will continue to investigate the surf resort in Waco. People can't get it by swallowing water contaminated with the amoeba, the CDC says.

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