According to an article in the Waco Tribune-Herald, BSR surf resort voluntarily closed its wavepool on Friday while the Center for Disease Control tested for Naegleria fowleri, an extremely rare and deadly single-celled organism known as the “brain-eating amoeba.” The investigation follows the tragic death of New Jersey surfer Fabrizio “Fab” Stabile, who passed away from an infection caused by the amoeba shortly after surfing BSR’s wavepool.
The CDC states that the brain-eating amoeba is found in warm freshwater, such as lakes, rivers and hot springs. In rare cases, the amoeba has been found in inadequately chlorinated swimming pools and even tap water. The amoeba is only contracted through the nose, once it enters the nose it travels to the brain where it causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is usually fatal. According to the CDC’s website, symptoms usually start one to nine days after swimming, and those infected typically die one to 18 days after the symptoms begin to show.
The CDC also reports that there have been 34 reported cases of the “brain-eating amoeba” since 2008, of which only four of those who were infected survived.
CDC spokesperson Candice Burns Hoffmann said that preliminary test results should be ready next week and will provide recommendations to BSR Surf Resort for reducing potential exposures in the future, as reported by the Waco Tribune-Herald.
For more information, check out the Waco Tribune’s article in its entirety.
More from the CDC about Naegleria fowleri, aka the “brain-eating amoeba,” and its symptoms.
Here’s how to donate to The Fabrizio Stabile Foundation for Naegleria Fowleri Awareness.
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