Of­fi­cials: Man got amoeba at Texas park

Albuquerque Journal - - NATION & WORLD -

WACO, Texas — A New Jer­sey man who died from a rare “brain-eat­ing amoeba “was likely ex­posed to it dur­ing his visit to a Texas wa­ter re­sort last month, health of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

The Waco-McLen­nan County Pub­lic Health Dis­trict said test­ing done by the Cen­ters for Disease Con­trol and Preven­tion found ev­i­dence of Nae­g­le­ria fow­leri — a rare but deadly amoeba that can cause a brain in­fec­tion — at one of the four at­trac­tions at the BSR Ca­ble Park and Surf Re­sort in Waco, and con­di­tions fa­vor­able for its growth at the other three.

Health of­fi­cials said the amoeba was found at the at­trac­tion that’s a nat­u­ral body of wa­ter, but it’ll re­main open be­cause risk of ex­po­sure is con­sid­ered the same as at any nat­u­ral body of wa­ter. But of­fi­cials added that the other three at­trac­tions won’t re­open un­til “all health and safety is­sues” are ad­dressed.

Fabrizio Sta­bile , 29, died Sept. 21 af­ter con­tract­ing the deadly amoeba.

Peo­ple are usu­ally in­fected when con­tam­i­nated wa­ter en­ters the body through the nose, ac­cord­ing to the CDC. The CDC re­ports the amoeba is usu­ally found in warm fresh­wa­ter, such as lakes, rivers or hot springs.

The New Jer­sey De­part­ment of Health said the man had vis­ited the park on Sept. 8. Symp­toms gen­er­ally start about five days af­ter in­fec­tion, with death oc­cur­ring about five days later, ac­cord­ing to the CDC.

The in­fec­tion can start out with a headache, fever and nau­sea, and worsen into a stiff neck, con­fu­sion, loss of bal­ance and seizures. The CDC said only four of the 143 peo­ple known to have been in­fected in the U.S. be­tween 1962 and 2017 have sur­vived.

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