FOX44 has learned the name of the man who died after allegedly getting infected by what’s called a brain eating amoeba at Waco’s BSR Cable Park.
According to reports, 29-year-old Fabrizio Stabile of New Jersey came to swim in Waco in the last few days and died last Friday.
Kelly Craine, the spokesperson for the McLennan County Health District, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted the district about a patient suffering from a brain infection.
The CDC collected water samples and examined the entire water system at the park last Wednesday.
Craine says this is the first case ever in this county, and the last case in Texas happened two years ago.
The man’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help raise awareness about this deadly infection. If you wish to donate, you can click here.
Craine explains a person gets infected by inhaling this amoeba. She says, “To get sick by this, it has to go up your nose. You can drink it and it would not harm you. And then it goes up to the brain through a sinus cavity.”
Craine explains this amoeba is very rare, but extremely dangerous. She says, “It is a single-cell organism. They are a part of nature and can be found pretty much everywhere in fresh water.”
According to Craine, the symptoms are similar to meningitis.
“At first, severe headache, fever, nausea and vomiting – and then it moves to a second stage, which is a stiff neck, seizures, altered mental state, hallucinations and coma,” Craine explains.
While the disease is not contagious, Craine says unfortunately there is no treatment yet. The district expects to have the results back next week.
The BSR Cable Park has since released the following statement:
“BSR Surf Resort values the safety of our guests from Texas and all over the United States and we strive to provide the safest environment for our patrons to enjoy all of our facilities. We will continue to comply with requests from the local health department and CDC (Center for Disease Control) investigation of the passing of Fabrizio “Fab” Stabile. Our hearts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the New Jersey surf community during this difficult time. BSR Surf Resort operates a state of the art artificial man made wave. We are in compliance with the CDC guidelines and recommendations concerning naegleria fowleri. Naegleria fowleri causes an extremely rare disease with only 145 – 150 recorded cases within the last 65 years. This amoeba is found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds across the south but the disease is a one out of millions occurrence.”