Note to self: Swim only in cool water!

A killer amoeba is loose in the United States and is eating brains. No seriously. I’m not making this up. A killer amoeba (Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL’-erh-eye) living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Well yeah, only 6 people have died at it’s slimy little pseudopods (three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona), but that is a spike compared to recent years. Between 1995 and 2004 this little creature has killed only 23 people, but the numbers are rising at least as evidenced by this years body count.

Naegleria fowleri is a heat loving organism that thrives in warmer waters. As lake temperatures rise, so do the number of these little buggers. Chances of running into this organism up here in the northeast are slim, but if you are swimming in warm lakes down south look out for the following symptoms, stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, those infected show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes as well. More info after the jumps.

[AP News story]
[CDC entry: Naegleria fowleri]

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~ by David on September 29, 2007.

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