New Jersey Man Dies from 'Brain-Eating' Amoeba

Lynette PayneOct 03, 2018

"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".

An artist's rendering of the newly opened wave pool at BSR Cable Park Surf Resort, in Waco, where Stabile is feared to have picked up the brain-eating amoeba that killed him (Picture: BSR Cable Park Surf Resort) Naegleria fowleri pictured under a microscope.

Stabile returned to New Jersey and began suffering from a headache on September 16, according to the family's GoFundMe page. Its symptoms mimic those of bacterial meningitis and include fever, headache, and nausea. The fatality rate, however, is more than 97%, with just four people surviving of the 143 reported infections in the United States between 1962 and 2017.

"Naegleria fowleri infects people when water containing the ameba enters the body through the nose".

The Naegleria fowleri amoeba is a free-living amoeba found in warm freshwater ponds, lakes and rivers, which feeds on bacteria but can cause a lethal infection in humans.

CDC crews collected water samples hoping to find the source of the contamination.

BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. told The Associated Press that the park is closed and is cooperating with the investigation into Stabile's death. "Even so, this drug is not easily accessible", Stabile's friend wrote. From the nose, it can travel to the brain and cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM, the CDC noted. Symptoms generally start about five days after infection, with death occurring about five days later, according to the CDC.

BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. said the parks' "hearts and prayers" were with the "family, friends and the New Jersey surf community during this hard time". PAM is hard to detect because the disease progresses rapidly, so diagnosis is usually made after death, the CDC said. He said the facility was cooperating with health officials.

Naegleria fowleri infections are rare.

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