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BRAIN-EATING AMOEBAS

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by buzzgun, Sep 28, 2007.

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  1. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    And you thought leptospirosis and E. Coli were all you had to worry about...

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    6 die from brain-eating amoeba in lakes By CHRIS KAHN, Associated Press Writer Fri Sep 28, 2:18 PM ET


    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 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. "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.


    In Arizona, David Evans said nobody knew his son, Aaron, was infected with the amoeba until after the 14-year-old died on Sept. 17. At first, the teen seemed to be suffering from nothing more than a headache.


    "We didn't know," Evans said. "And here I am: I come home and I'm burying him."


    After doing more tests, doctors said Aaron probably picked up the amoeba a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu, a popular man-made lake on the Colorado River between Arizona and California.


    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.


    Researchers still have much to learn about Naegleria. They don't know why, for example, children are more likely to be infected, and boys are more often victims than girls.


    "Boys tend to have more boisterous activities (in water), but we're not clear," Beach said.


    In central Florida, authorities started an amoeba phone hot line advising people to avoid warm, standing water and areas with algae blooms. Texas health officials also have issued warnings.


    People "seem to think that everything can be made safe, including any river, any creek, but that's just not the case," said Doug McBride, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.


    Officials in the town of Lake Havasu City are discussing whether to take action. "Some folks think we should be putting up signs. Some people think we should close the lake," city spokesman Charlie Cassens said.


    Beach cautioned that people shouldn't panic about the dangers of the brain-eating bug. Cases are still extremely rare considering the number of people swimming in lakes. The easiest way to prevent infection, Beach said, is to use nose clips when swimming or diving in fresh water.


    "You'd have to have water going way up in your nose to begin with" to be infected, he said.


    David Evans has tried to learn as much as possible about the amoeba over the past month. But it still doesn't make much sense to him. His family had gone to Lake Havasu countless times. Have people always been in danger? Did city officials know about the amoeba? Can they do anything to kill them off?


    Evans lives within eyesight of the lake. Temperatures hover in the triple digits all summer, and like almost everyone else in this desert region, the Evanses look to the lake to cool off.


    It was on David Evans' birthday Sept. 8 that he brought Aaron, his other two children, and his parents to Lake Havasu. They ate sandwiches and spent a few hours splashing around.


    "For a week, everything was fine," Evans said.


    Then Aaron got the headache that wouldn't go away. At the hospital, doctors first suspected meningitis. Aaron was rushed to another hospital in Las Vegas.


    "He asked me at one time, 'Can I die from this?'" David Evans said. "We said, 'No, no.'"


    On Sept. 17, Aaron stopped breathing as his father held him in his arms.


    "He was brain dead," Evans said. Only later did doctors and the CDC determine that the boy had been infected with Naegleria.


    "My kids won't ever swim on Lake Havasu again," he said.
     
  2. grammie

    grammie TS Member

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    Buzz:

    Thats nothing compared to the brain bug that comes in imported Mexican fruit!!!

    Lake Havasu is a shithole!!! Mostly,,,its Californians that use the lake...and those on spring break,,,Arizonans mostly go to watch the titties,,nothing more!!!

    The lake is generally closed a couple times a year,,due to some matter or another,,but-----the money generated is too high to produce common sense in city officials.....

    I have lived here more than 20 years,,,and have never had one drop of Lake Havasu water touch me anywhere......

    AKA Grammie..........
     
  3. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I suspect these little beasts would be pressed trying to find a brain to eat among some people.

    Pat Ireland
     
  4. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    Couldn't we have Sheriff Joe put some of these Mexicans to work cleaning up the lake?

    I mean, dang..."titties on jet skis" and "Brain-Eating Amoebas" just don't mix. They better do something...
     
  5. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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  6. Cherokee Kid

    Cherokee Kid TS Member

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    The ones that went up Grammie's nose must of starved to death.
     
  7. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    Cherokee..........Not nice, I spilled a coke all over myself from laughing so hard.

    As I said, not nice...........but...........it sure was funny!


    Thanks for the laugh.......

    Hauxfan!
     
  8. FarmerD

    FarmerD TS Member

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    Cherokee Kid,
    Lets amend that and add Lump of Crap (aka lumper) to the list. RG
     
  9. grammie

    grammie TS Member

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    Yes,,,but in the Cherokee Kids case,,he would have to wear a buttplug,,the amoeba would have confused his brain with his asshole.........But thats understandable,,,an amoeba is blind ya know,,and has to go on feel and smell!!!

    AKA Grammie.........
     
  10. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    I think these amoeba have cousins that attack me whenever I go out to shoot.

    HM
     
  11. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    Doh! Cherokee got one in the neck from Gramster!
     
  12. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Buzzgun.....Good post, but I'm afraid its to late for most trapshooters!
     
  13. One Eyed Left Handed

    One Eyed Left Handed TS Member

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    Don't think I've EVER posted on an OT thread but the Cherokee Kid just won the Grand in my eyes!!!
     
  14. Cherokee Kid

    Cherokee Kid TS Member

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    Actually, the amoebas only ate the part of Grammie's brain that produces rational thought, then died of food poisoning. Oh, and Grammie I finished my swim and thanks for the loan of your pacifier.
     
  15. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Good one Cherokee Kid!
     
  16. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

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    Pay no attention to them Grammie! Some folks don't even HAVE brains.....the poor ole amoebas! What are they to do?
     
  17. Cherokee Kid

    Cherokee Kid TS Member

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    They'll starve to death there, too. How much brains does it take to buy a gun that is guaranteed to break something every 10,000 rounds?
     
  18. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Cherokee; You are starting to sound like a smart mouth punk kid.

    Don
     
  19. grammie

    grammie TS Member

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    Cherokee Kid:

    No need to thank me kid,,,,It belonged to your mom,,,I was just passing by when she solicited me......You should have learned some respect for your elders,,especially your father!!!!!

    AKA Grammie......
     
  20. grammie

    grammie TS Member

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    Rick:

    You are right of course,,,,thanks for the reminder....

    AKA Grammie.....
     
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