Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are testing the water at a surf resort in Texas for a brain-eating amoeba after the tragic death of a surfer who visited the site.
Fabrizio Stabile, 29, visited the BSR Cable Park’s Surf Resort in Waco where he had been using the park’s wave pool at the extreme water sports park.
He died in New Jersey on September 16 after falling ill with a naegleria fowleri infection.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in Fabrizio’s name to raise awareness about the dangers of the amoeba infection that has only been diagnosed 143 times in the last 55 years in the United States.
The page explains that Stabile had started to suffer from a headache that would not go away and which left him unable to speak. His symptoms matched those of bacterial meningitis and he did not respond to medication.
After more tests, he tested positive for a naegleria fowleri infection, which has a 98 percent fatality rate, the gofundme page stated.
Kelly Craine, a spokesperson for Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, said officials are trying to find the source of the amoeba.
“The CDC collected water samples and are currently investigating to find the source. We hope to have results by the end of the week,” CBS affiliate KBTX-TV reported.
The CDC says the infection can occur in people who swim or dive in warm freshwater places. Infection passes into the body if contaminated water enters the nose.
An obituary in the Press of Atlantic City described Stabile as someone who loved the outdoors, including snowboarding, surfing, and socialising with friends and family.
The owner of the resort, Stuart Parsons, voluntarily closed the park on Friday for inspection and said he would comply with the inquiry.
He said: “Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends and the New Jersey surf community during this difficult time,” CBS reported.
The same amoeba has also been detected in part of the water system in Louisiana, with the Shreveport Times reporting how it had been found in south Bossier Parish. The operator, Sligo Water System, has since disconnected the supply from Bossier City water.