Saturday, September 29, 2007

6 die from brain-eating amoeba in lakes

It sounds like science fiction but it's true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.


So this explains Creationists!

But it gets even better:

"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."

7 comments:

pragmatic pessimist said...

And some people fear brain-eating aliens from Zeta Reticuli!

Sheesh! We have all the insane, crazy, fear-inspiring realities we need here on little old Earth.

You know, like an insane President spending now up to a TRILLION dollars or more in a bloody, soul-killing war for NOTHING other than to make America look like a monster to the rest of the planet.

Just think what an equal amount of money could have done for the global warming crisis in the same amount of time--we might have begun to get a handle on the problem. And still the Bush leaguers pretend nothing's wrong and are just full of talk, not action. Bastards!!!

Welcome to the early 21st century. There won't be a late 21st at this rate.

pessimistic pragmatist said...

Sorry for the rant, above. I went ballistically off-topic due to being so tired of how the world seems to be going into a fatal death tail-spin, and unnecessarily, to boot.

Perhaps creationists _will_ get their fondest Revelation style dreams fulfilled, but it has nothing to do with God, but humanity, and its effects on the planet's ecosystem, instead.

The real problem is when such problems are viewed as some kind of fulfillment of biblical prophecy, and are not dealt with pragmatically.

And so far, according to the CDC report linked to the post above, there appears to be no cure so far. Just great!

Returning to the topic of brain eating amoebae, I for one will never let my grand-nephews, who I love dearly, swim in the local creek/spring again. I had no idea such micro-monsters even existed. Thanks for the heads-up, Mac. As if we didn't have enough shit to worry about!

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the brain-eating amoeba originated in some secret government bioweapons lab (or was deliberately released....)

That's why it sounds like science fiction. I doubt nature could come up with something like this....

--W.M. Bear

Anonymous said...

Really? Nature is much more complex than we _can_ even understand. I see the brain-eating amoeba is a natural occurance of biological evolution.

If it were "deliberately released" and/or the product of "some secret government bioweapons lab," then the organism is so far extremely poorly designed, as there have only been 23 fatalities from between 1995 and 2004. The spike this year, with 6 fatalities, is distubing, but biologically makes sense, as such an organism proliferates and evolves more rapidly in a warming environment.

From the linked article:

"According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases — three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s."

Not a very efficient or sophisticated killer, considering the hundreds of millions of people who each summer frolic in the water. This is nature, not biotech.
You have a greater chance of being killed by lightning, eaten by a shark, or dying in a passenger jet crash, and even those sources of fatalities are relatively rare, say compared to car crash fatalities.

Anonymous said...

AU CONTRAIRE...

You don't think biotech labs come up with duds on occasion? Or else deliberately "spike" a creation like this to prevent it from causing a pandemic? (Some day soon, they may accidentally -- or deliberately -- neglect to do this....)

--WMB

Anonymous said...

Plus, I did say, "I am guessing," and NOT, "I have ironclad proof." Being suspicious of things like this has a far bigger payoff than not being suspicious and (usually) more opportunities to exercise cutting-edge logic....

the other white meat all-night anonymoid said...

Oh. Ok, I'll concede your point.

Still think it's nature, not high-tech nurture. Let's just agree to disagree--no biggie. Almost all of humanity is likely to be dead within the next 50 years anyhow, so there are much greater concerns than little brain-eating amoebae.

Wonder if it was named after the "Andreassen Affair" author Raymond E. Fowler? His "abduction" books rate in my book as memetic brain-eating garbage, IMHO.