Though it's unclear exactly how the man, 29-year-old Fabrizio Stabile, got the amoeba, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now investigating BSR Cable Park's Surf Resort in Waco, Texas, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported on September 28.
Stabile's family has issued an obituary, which described him as someone who loves snowboarding, surfing and fishing. He died at a hospital in Atlantic City on September 21.
The CDC said Monday it is assisting the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District and the surf resort, which voluntarily closed following Stabile's death, in testing for Naegleria fowleri.
Friend and family members have created a new nonprofit to raise awareness of the amoeba, called "The Fabrizio Stabile Foundation for Naegleria Fowleri Awareness".
However, Stuart E. Parsons Jr., the owner of the surf resort, said that they will continue to comply with the investigations. Those who contract PAM usually die within one to 18 days of showcasing the disease symptoms.
The fatality rate is over 97 percent and only four of 143 known infected individuals in the U.S. from 1962 to 2017 have survived.
"BSR Surf Resort operates a state of the art artificial man-made wave", he said. Just four people infected in the last 55 years have survived.
"Under pressure, the park shuttered the water feature for almost two months and a federal epidemiologist found that filtration and disinfection systems were inadequate to properly clean the facility's turbid waters", the newspaper reported. "The Naegleria fowleri ameba then travels up the nose to the brain where it destroys the brain tissue", according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Following the onset of symptoms, patients typically die from PAM within five days.
It can be found in freshwater in warmer climates, from hot springs to rivers and lakes.
Since the microscopic amoeba enters your body through your nose, experts advise people to avoid swimming underwater and diving in warm water bodies, especially during the late summer months.
The park remains closed pending the findings of the CDC.