Texas surf resort tested after 'brain-eating amoeba' death

Henrietta Brewer
October 3, 2018

It is believed he contracted the ferocious brain-eating amoeba after visiting BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort in Waco, Texas.

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.

Naegleria fowleri can not be contracted by swallowing contaminated water, according to the CDC.

The infection has a 97 percent fatality rate, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only four people out of 143 have survived infection in the USA from 1962 to 2017, the CDC said. Stabile had previously been surfing in the pool - but it is unknown at this time whether he contracted Naegleria Fowleri from the water in the Waco facility.

He was rushed to hospital after he was unable to speak coherently to his mother or get out of his bed several hours later.

Known as "Fab", Stabile was born in Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania, and loved spending time outdoors, according to his obituary in the Press of Atlantic City.

The amoeba is most commonly found in areas of warm freshwater like lakes or hot springs.

According to the CDC, Naegleria fowleri infections are rare, with just 34 reported between 2008 and 2017.

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". Other symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations.

"After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within about 5 days (range 1 to 12 days)", the agency said.

Parsons said the park has voluntarily closed pending the results of the CDC testing.

"Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community during this hard time", BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. said in a statement to the Waco Tribune-Herald.

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