Friday, September 28, 2007


The amoeba that ate the president's brain...

Tomorrow morning we're going over to Portland & Vancouver to pick up a camper-conversion van. We've been looking for one for a while and this came along at a good price and with a good history. We're excited and apprehensive at the same time. You know: it's all the same physiological response, just different mental interpretations.

Speaking of things mental, I came across this in the LA Times:

Perhaps this explains what’s happened to the leadership in Washington:,0,5850018.story?coll=la-home-center

Lake amoeba can kill swimmers
The very rare Naegleria fowleri enters through the nose to attack the brain. ...
From the Associated Press

September 29, 2007

PHOENIX — It sounds like science fiction, but it's true: Killer amoebas living in lakes can enter the body through the nose and attack the brain, where they feed until you die.

Though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it is known to have killed six boys and young men in the United States this year; over the decade ending in 2004, the yearly average was 2.3.

The jump in cases has health officials concerned.

"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better. In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."

The amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri, killed 23 people in the U.S. from 1995 to 2004, the CDC says. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since the microbe's discovery in Australia in the 1960s.

This year, there have been three cases in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona.

Though infections tend to be found in Southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere: in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment.

A person wading through shallow water stirs up the bottom, and if water gets up the person's nose, the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve, which is responsible for conveying smells to the brain.

The amoeba makes its way to the brain, destroying tissue as it goes, Beach said.

Sounds like something Gary Larson would have thought up. Or maybe an old writer from SNL. Instead of "Killer Bees," "Killer Amoebas." Nah, just doesn't have the same ring. I like the idea that the resident may be infected with one of these, but darn it, it aint killed that monster yet.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?