NJ man killed by ‘brain-eating amoeba’ from wave pool

WACO, Texas — A surf resort in Central Texas has voluntarily closed pending test results into what is commonly referred to as a "brain-eating amoeba."

Fabrizio Stabile, a 29-year-old New Jersey man, died earlier this month after going into a wave pool at the resort. He fell ill with Naegleria fowleri, colloquially known as a "brain-eating amoeba."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Naegleria fowleri is often found in warm freshwater.

Stabile started showing symptoms on Sunday, Sept. 16, according to a GoFundMe. He developed a severe headache while mowing his lawn. He took medicine and slept through the night. When he woke up the next day, the headache had not gone away, so he took more medicine and went back to sleep. By that afternoon, he couldn't get out of bed or speak coherently.

He was rushed to the hospital and it took doctors until Thursday of that week to figure out what was wrong with him, according to the GoFundMe. Naegleria fowleri is a very rare infection. Only 34 people suffered from the usually fatal infection from 2008 to 2017, according to the CDC.

"By the time Fabrizio was diagnosed, it was too late to administer the drug that had previously been provided to three of the only five known survivors in North America.  Even so, this drug is not easily accessible," the GoFundMe organizer wrote. "We were hopeful until the end, but unfortunately, on Friday September 21st we learned the heart-breaking news that Fabrizio was pronounced brain dead as a result of this brain-eating amoeba."

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 agency is testing for Naegleria fowleri.

It's unclear if the park remained closed Sunday morning. BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. says it will also continue to comply with requests related to the investigation of Stabile's death.

Funds are being raised to educate people about the infection.

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