A New Jersey resident has reportedly been infected by the “brain-eating amoeba”, Naegleria fowleri while surfing in a wave pool at BSR Cable Park’s Surf Resort in Waco, Texas, according to a Waco Tribune-Herald report.
The individual who died has been identified as 29 year-old Fabrizio Stabile of Ventnor.
In a email statement from the CDC’s Candice Hoffmann to Outbreak News Today:
CDC is assisting the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District on an investigation into a potential Naegleria fowleri exposure at an aquatic facility. A small CDC team collected samples for Naegleria fowleri testing and will be working with the health department on recommendations to provide the facility on how to reduce potential exposures. Preliminary testing results should be ready later next week.
BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. said BSR Surf Resort values its guests’ safety and will continue to comply with requests from the CDC and local health department in the investigation.
Parsons said the park has voluntarily closed pending the results of the CDC testing.
Naegleria fowleri is a microscopic amoeba which is a single-celled living organism. It can cause a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers, ponds and canals.
Infections can happen when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the amoeba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes PAM (which destroys brain tissue) and is usually fatal. Infections usually occur when it is hot for prolonged periods of time, which results in higher water temperatures and lower water levels.
Naegleria fowleri infections are rare. Most infections occur from exposure to contaminated recreational water. Cases due to the use of neti pots and the practice of ablution have been documented.
Only four people out of 143 infected in the United States between 1962 and 2017 have survived, according to the CDC.
You cannot be infected with Naegleria fowleri by drinking contaminated water and the amoeba is not found in salt water.
Initial symptoms of PAM usually start within 1 to 7 days after infection. The initial symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting. Other symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly.
- Naegleria fowleri in Karachi water supply, source of infections: Study
- Neti pots, Naegleria and you
- California reports 7th ever Naegleria fowleri case in Inyo County woman
- Costa Rica health officials ask hotel to warn swimmers of ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after Florida boy dies