Transcript for Mom sues water park after son dies from brain amoeba
We are back now with a mother who is suing a Texas water park saying her son died from a rare brain-eating amoeba. Will reeve is here, and he's going to have that story for us. Foreign, will. Reporter: Good morning, robin. A young man from New Jersey took to a Texas wave park to surf, but a rare, invisible killer allegedly lurked in the waves. This water park is a surfer's dream, but in secht what was meant to be a fun day hitting the waves turned into a nightmare for Fabrizio stabile and his family. His mother says he contracted a brain-eating amoeba at the surf park. She is filing a wrongful death suit against the park seeking over $1 million in damages. Fortunately there is very rare. The problem is about 97% of people will die from this infection from this disease. Reporter: How rare? From 2008 to 2017, only 34 similar infections were reported in the U.S. In 2013, "Gma" spoke with a 12-year-old who survived the brain-eating killer after visiting a water park in Arkansas. I was so sick. Mom wouldn't leave the hospital. This amoeba loves to live in warm, freshwater bodies of water and what happens is it somehow enters the body, enters the brain through the nose and that can happen if someone goes dives or jumps in the body of water. Reporter: According to the suit, the CDC tested the water quality within a week of stabile's death. They found conditions that could allow the growth of an amoeba. We were told that, you know, the amoeba was not, you know, in the surf facility where fab was surfing at. We were doing everything we were supposed to do by law. Reporter: Later, the park posting this on their Facebook page saying they were installing a new system. As you can see, we have drained the entire surf park. Getting it ready for the new filtration system. Reporter: Fabrizio stabile's family hopes it will prevent deaths like their son's in the future. They are recently reopened after closing for six months after Fabrizio stabile's death. Experts say wearing a nose clip or holding your nose when jumping into the kind of water you would find at a water park is a smart idea, robin. Thank you. Jenn Ashton will join us now. This is a tough story. It really is. It brings you back almost to high school biology class when we learned about amoebas. They are single-cell organisms. I can't emphasize this enough. This is incredibly rare in the United States, and they can live in warmer temperature water, freshwater. You don't swallow it. Parts like myself would include it, you don't want to swallow potentially dirty water. That's not how this gets in. It goes in through the nose and causes a pretty severe, you know, brain infection. Where decides a water park could you -- Right. And that's the thing. We're hearing now about the association with a water park, but to be clear, this is freshwater Lakes, rivers, geothermal hot springs, some poorly chlorinated water. It does not live in the ocean, and again in the very few cases that have been seen in the United States, most are occurring in southern tier half of the documented infections in the U.S. Occur in Texas and Florida. There have been some reports in the north, but again, incredibly uncommon. What symptoms should you be looking out for? Same symptoms of Mennen meningitis, and they appear after the first stage. You have severe frontal headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, G.I. Issues, and the second stage is stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status, hallucinations, coma. In medicine and like in life, we have a saying. An increased risk of a rare event is still a rare event and while tragic, it's uncommon. We'll have you back on our next half hour.
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