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Texas Pool Closes After 'Brain- Eating Amoeba' Kills Visitor

Fabrizio Stabile of New Jersey was at a Waco water park prior to his death
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2018 4:00 PM CDT
Naegleria fowleri.   (CDC)

(Newser) – A Texas water park has been closed for testing after a past visitor succumbed to the so-called "brain-eating amoeba." Per WFAA, the BSR Surf Resort in Waco chose to close down its wave pool while the CDC tests the water for the microbe, whose scientific name is Naegleria fowleri. The move came after the death of New Jersey surfer Fabrizio "Fab" Stabile, who had reportedly been in the wave pool prior to his death from the disease earlier this month at the age of 29. “Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community during this difficult time,” park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. said in a statement, per the AP. Parsons added that his park follows all CDC “guidelines and recommendations concerning Naegleria fowleri.”

Naegleria fowleri is as rare as it is deadly. Typically found in warm, fresh waters in the American South, the microbe is largely harmless unless it makes its way up the nose. Recreational swimmers can become victims if the amoeba winds up in the brain. Once there, it can cause a lethal infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis. While just 143 cases were reported between 1962 and 2016, only four of those people survived, per CNN. (In a 2016 case, it was suspected an Ohio teen died from the illness after being exposed to Naegleria fowleri while visiting a manmade whitewater rafting channel in North Carolina.)

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