The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District (WMCPHD) in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the US health authority, have confirmed that the free-living amoeba that killed Fabrizio Stabile (Naegleria fowleri) was detected at the water sports facility. However, the extremely rare organism was not found at the BSR’s Surf Resort, Lazy River, or Royal Flush.
Confuse, yeah me too. So if the 29-year-old surfer passed away a few days after his visit to the BSR Surf Resort, yet the “brain-eating amoeba” wasn’t detected at the wave pool, how can authorities account for the death of Stabile?
Although results thus far are inconclusive, the CDC did offer an explanation as to how the deadly infection was able to grow.
““Although the N. fowleri was not detected in the Surf Resort, Lazy River, or the Royal Flush, the presence of fecal indicator organisms, high turbidity, low free chlorine levels, and other amoeba that occur along with N. fowleri indicate conditions favorable for N. fowleri growth,” according to a statement from the district Friday, referring to the CDC report.
In response to the controversy, the BSR Cable Park is set to install a state-of-the-art filtration system. The water sports park says it “meets every standard for safety,” but is ready to hire a North Carolina company to install a “state-of-the-art filtration system that will make our water as clear and clean as humanly possible.”
“We take pride in our park and the safety of our guests. And it’s not just the guests that use the park. It is also my family, our friends, and our employees that essentially live in our water. My two-year-old twins play on that beach, and – as kids do – they drink the water every time. We test and treat the water every day to make sure no one gets sick.” said Stuart E. Parsons Jr., owner of the BSR Cable Park.
Five main water bodies are located at the BSR park the reservoir, the Surf Resort, the Royal Flush, the Lazy River, and the Cable Park. The hope is that the new filtration system will be complete in February 2019, until then only the Cable Park will remain open to the general public.
The cable park where the amoeba was found is allowed to remain open to the public “because the risk of exposure to N. fowleri is considered the same as any other natural bodies of freshwater and is not amenable to treatment,” according to the district’s statement.
Parsons said Friday that the ski lake would be impossible to disinfect because it has a dirt bottom and more than 20 million gallons of water, about as much as 33 Olympic-size swimming pools.