Water park closes after surfer dies from 'brain-eating' bacteria


"'Fab, ' as family and friends would call him, was an avid outdoorsman".

The 29-year-old man died in New Jersey in September after falling ill with Naegleria fowleri.

BSR Cable Park owner Stuart E. Parsons Jr. said the parks' "hearts and prayers" were with the "family, friends and the New Jersey surf community during this hard time".

Naegleria fowleri is known as the "brain-eating amoeba" and is usually found in warm fresh water. Symptoms of the disease typically begin one to nine days after the amoeba has entered the body, with people dying one to 18 days after symptoms begin.

He was diagnosed with the deadly bug the day before he died.

Naegleria fowleri infections are rare.

The water park has been temporarily closed pending an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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"BSR Surf Resort operates a state of the art artificial man-made wave", he said.

In a statement it said: "CDC is testing water samples for Naegleria fowleri and will be working with the health department on recommendations to provide the facility on how to reduce potential exposures".

Parsons said the park has voluntarily closed pending the results of the CDC testing.

In the wake of Stabile's death his family founded the Fabrizio Stabile Foundation for Naegleria Fowleri Awareness - which has raised more than $22,000 in less than a week via a GoFundMe page.

"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", the GoFundMe page said.

It causes the nervous-system infection primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) by traveling up a person's nostrils and into their brain, but can not be transmitted if a person swallows water contaminated with the bug.

The infection can not be passed from person to person and typically occurs during the summer months of July, August and September.