Young surfer dies from rare brain-eating amoeba
Fabrizio Stabile from New Jersey (Credit: The Fabrizio Stabile Foundation/GoFundMe)
Published Monday, October 1, 2018 10:55AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 1, 2018 11:22AM EDT
A young surfer has died after contracting a deadly rare brain–eating amoeba in the U.S.
Fabrizio Stabile, 29, from New Jersey, had recently visited the wave pool of a surf resort in Texas.
BSR Cable Park’s Surf Resort in Waco is closed while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tests for the fatal bug Naegleria fowleri.
Stabile’s obituary said that he passed away surrounded by his family on Friday, September 21 at the Atlantic City Medical Center.
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.
In a statement it said: “CDC is testing water samples for Naegleria fowleri and will be working with the health department on recommendations to provide the facility on how to reduce potential exposures.
“Preliminary testing results should be ready later this week.”
There have been no reports of other illnesses, and Naegleria fowleri infection does not spread from person to person.
Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs around the world.
If water containing the amoeba goes up the nose, the amoeba can invade and cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain.
The water park's owner has said he will comply with further requests relating to the investigation.
A GoFundMe page has been set up as The Fabrizio Stabile Foundation, where more than US$22,000 of a $50,000 target has been raised so far.
Page organizer Stephanie Papastephanou wrote that while Stabile was mowing his lawn on the afternoon of Sunday September 16, he suddenly experienced a severe headache and went to lie down.
When his mother went to check on him in the early afternoon of Monday, Stabile could not get out of bed and could not speak coherently and he was rushed to hospital.
His cerebrospinal fluid tested positive for the amoeba, which caused a rare infection that has only been diagnosed 143 times in the United States in the last 55 years.
He was diagnosed with the deadly bug the day before he died.
"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,” Stephanie wrote.
"Even so, this drug is not easily accessible."
“Fab” was an avid outdoorsman who loved snowboarding, surfing and anything to do with friends and family.
He had a keen love for fishing, which led him to work for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Bass Pro Shops.
In lieu of flowers family asked for donations to Swim Above Water Amoeba Awareness Foundation in Stabile’s name.