According to a story in the Waco Tribune-Herald, the “CDC is testing for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ at BSR Surf Resort.” On Friday, September 21, a 29-year-old New Jersey man named Fabrizio Stabile died from a very rare illness called Naegleria fowleri, which is more commonly known as a brain-eating amoeba. Stabile was recently surfing in Waco’s pool. It should be noted, however, that it is not known for certain whether the victim contracted Naegleria fowleri from the pool and there was no clear timeline available in terms of when exactly he was at the park.
Naegleria fowleri is a particularly nasty bug. Found in warmer freshwater like lakes, rivers, and hot springs, if one is unlucky enough to contract it, symptoms can show up between one and nine days later. According to the CDC, death can occur within 18 days. “The disease is generally fatal,” the CDC’s website explains. “Four people in the U.S. out of 143 have survived infection from 1962 to 2017. Among well-documented cases, there are only five known survivors in North America: one from the U.S. in 1978, one from Mexico in 2003, two from the U.S. in 2013, and one from the U.S. in 2016.”