October 1, 2007

Move over terrorists, here comes the brain eating amoebas

PHOENIX -- 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.

Although encounters with the microscopic bug are rare, it has killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases.

"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.

According to the CDC, Naegleria fowleri killed 23 in the United States from 1995 to 2004. This year, health officials noticed a spike with three deaths in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona.

Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools. The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up to the brain, where it continues the damage, "basically feeding on the brain cells," Beach said.

At last, a plausible excuse for the content of some of the comments here.

Add to that fuzzy little critter the pandemics in antibiotic resistant SARS, MRSA, and various coming flu pandemics, and you'd think people wouldn't be such cowering fools when their leaders try to get them to sign away all their rights in the name of "protecting" them from something as unlikely as being killed by terrorists.

As a matter of fact, you're about 50 times as likely to die from slipping on a banana peel as being killed by a terrorist act. (but of course if you're in the military or a mercenary for hire, your chances of dying from being sent to violent areas under the pretense of fighting terror goes way up.)


At 10/01/2007 10:23 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

There is a mutant strain of this that is not fatal. It just causes enough brain damage to induce GOP voting.

At 10/02/2007 12:37 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


That's beyond a doubt the line of the month...

Brilliant and hillarious.

You know what they say, it's funnier if it's true.


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