A 29-year old Ventnor man died from a very rare, but deadly, brain-eating amoeba which he apparently caught while surfing at a wavepool attraction in Waco, TX.

According to an article in the Waco Tribune-Herald, Ventnor surfer Fabrizio “Fab” Stabile,  died from an infection caused by the amoeba shortly after surfing in the wavepool. He died at Atlantic City Medical Center on Sept. 21.

BSR surf resort in Waco, TX, voluntarily closed its wavepool on Friday, Sept. 28, while the Center for Disease Control tested for Naegleria fowleri, an extremely rare and deadly single-celled organism known as the “brain-eating amoeba.”

According to his obituary, Stabile was an avid outdoorsman who loved snowboarding, surfing and fishing. His family requested in lieu of flowers that people make donations to Swim Above Water Amoeba Awareness Foundation, an organization aimed at raising awareness of Naegleria fowleri.

The obituary says Stabile's love for surfing and fishing led him to work for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Bass Pro Shops.

According to the CDC, the fatality rate for the amoeba is over 97%. Only four people out of 143 known infected individuals in the United States from 1962 to 2017 survived.

Symptoms of Naegleria fowleri include headache, fever, nausea or vomiting and usually start one to nine days after the initial infection. Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations.

Once symptoms begin, the disease progresses rapidly and typically causes death in five days.

CDC crews collected water samples, trying to find the source of the contamination. The park will stay closed until results come back from the investigation.

SOURCE:  Waco Tribune-Herald, Lowenstein-Saraceno Funeral Home, CDC

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