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No Treatment For Fatal Brain Eating Amoeba

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posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 12:59 AM

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

"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." 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 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.

Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose — say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water — the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve. The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up into the brain, where it continues the damage, "basically feeding on the brain cells," Beach said. People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, they'll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes, he said. Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have stopped the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said. "Usually, from initial exposure it's fatal within two weeks," he said.

Yahoo News

The subjects and victims of the article include a fourteen year old boy who is believed to have been infected by this amoeba while on a family trip to Lake Havasu,Texas; a location the family has frequented many times before.

People die every year from it. Citizens are demanding some kind of action, including closing the lake. Others have advocated further research to fid a way to fight this, or discover a way to destroy it in the water.

But as far as I can tell, we cant beat it. As humans we like to think we will always find a way to fix anything and everything, and at least find treatments for every ailment that we can imagine, but that is just not the case, or remotely possible.

this is an organism in a class of life that has existed since the beginning of life as we know it. It is in fact the class of organism that made up the first form of life that has existed on this planet. All other forms of life that exist on this planet today have branched off from this order of creature. It is anchient, primordial in fact. This order has seen every age of the Earth long before there were even dinosaurs on this planet.

Fact is it is just like anything else in our daily lives that can and will kill us, including the many life choices people make daily. I dont believe any amoutn of lake closures or treatments will ever be able to keep anything safe. This is simply the nature of the world and life as we know it. It is an unending battle and series of unintended consequences that has victims, and predators.

There is no malice involved, or even sentience, simply the daily routine of an anchient creature that probably has no idea it even entered a new environment as it feasts on our brain.

In any case, if further research could be done, it should be to find a way to perhaps identify the exact location of the ameoba using some sort of reactive die in the bloodstream and a type of brain scan. Then maybe we could make it possible to disect the brain and remove the tissue that harbors the creature.

I did not read up on how or if it multiplies in the brain, but that would definetly complicate maters.

Bottom line:

[edit on 9/29/2007 by DYepes]

posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 01:30 AM
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