A 29-year-old man has died of a “brain-eating amoeba” after he visited the wave pool of a resort in central Texas.
Fabrizio Stabile, a keen surfer, began experiencing a severe headache on Sunday 16 September.
The following day his mother realised that he could not get out of bed or speak coherently, according to a GoFundMe page set up by his family and friends.
He was rushed to hospital and screened for a “multitude of illnesses” before finally testing positive for Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba which causes a rare and devastating infection of the brain called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The infection is usually fatal and often occurs when water contaminated with the amoeba enters a person’s nose.
Stabile had recently swam in the wave pool at BSR Cable Park, a resort in central Texas, according to CBS News.
Investigators from the CDC have taken samples from the resort, which is currently closed.
“By the time Fabrizio was diagnosed, it was too late to administer the drug that had previously been provided to three of the only five known survivors in North America,” wrote Stephanie Papastephanou, the GoFundMe page organiser.
The 29-year-old was pronounced dead on Friday 21 September “as a result of this brain-eating amoeba”.
His loved ones have created a foundation in his memory dedicated to educating as many people as possible about the infection.
“Please help us in keeping Fabrizio’s memory alive,” Stabile’s family said.