NJ surfer dies from 'brain eating amoeba' after visiting Texas water park

Posted October 01, 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.

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.

Once he returned home to New Jersey, Stabile complained of a severe headache on September 16, according to a GoFundMe campaign set up to spread awareness about N. fowleri.

29 year old Stabile fell ill after surfing in the pool, and was taken to Atlantic City Medical City with a fever and brain inflammation.

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You can not be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water and the amoeba is not found in salt water.

"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. As the diseases continues to attack the body it can lead to a stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations.

The CDC told CTVNews.ca that it is assisting the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District on the investigation into a potential Naegleria fowleri exposure at an aquatic facility in Texas. The CDC notes that, on average, death occurs within one to 18 days of initial symptoms. Those infected usually die within about five days. Parsons added that his park follows all CDC "guidelines and recommendations concerning Naegleria fowleri".

Infections most typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater, but in "very rare instances", it can also occur in contaminated water from sources such as "inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water".

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Stabile's obituary remembers him as "an avid outdoorsman".

A CDC spokesperson said test results should come back sometime this week.

"BSR Surf Resort operates a state of the art artificial man-made wave", he said. "Overall he had a keen love for fishing", the post said.

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