Saturday, September 29, 2007

Just One More Thing To Worry About

In case you haven't seen this news article, evidently there is an increase recently of cases where people gets killed from a brain-eating amoeba in lakes. The discovery of said amoeba occurred in Australia in the sixties, and evidently it exists all around the world...usually in hot climates. The numbers of people affected are still tiny, of course...six people killed so far this year...but they do seem to be increasing slightly. Also, there's no effective treatment once you're infected, and usually, the cause of death isn't identified until after the fact.

All in all, I'm now glad I didn't go swimming in the lake at this one resort I visited earlier this month. I did go swimming once in the lake there a few years ago, and ended up getting a nasty sinus infection, but no deadly amoebas. At least, a well-maintained pool is safe, since the chlorine there kills all the bacteria (or amoebas) in the water.

4 comments:

Suldog said...

Sweet Jesus. A brain-eating amoeba? Amoeba zombies? Yikes!

Webmiztris said...

how do they know it's mostly in hot climates? maybe it's in cold climates too - however, people aren't likely to jump in a lake in a cold climate, so of course there's not going to be any cases of it in cold climates.

david mcmahon said...

Shock, Horror! Is it still in Australia?

I hope it ain't anywhere near Melbourne!

Chuck said...

Suldog - Yup, I'm avoiding fresh water for a bit, especially since I now live in one of the states where there has been a case. But the risk is very small, I'm sure. Just kind of a scary idea.

Webmiztris - I think most amoebas grow best in warm water, but who knows. I did go swimming once in Lake Michigan, in the summer, and it was still mighty chilly.

David - Thanks for visiting. More information about this particular amoeba can be found here if you're interested.