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Brain-eating amoeba is killing swimmers

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Autumn2004, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. Autumn2004

    Autumn2004 Inactive

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070929/ap_on_he_me/killer_amoeba;_ylt=AlQxWJbtq04MU2H8W2.ap5la24cA

    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.

    According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri 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.

    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.

    "Usually, from initial exposure it's fatal within two weeks," he said.

    "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.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070929/ap_on_he_me/killer_amoeba;_ylt=AlQxWJbtq04MU2H8W2.ap5la24cA
     
  2. tiredblondy

    tiredblondy New Member

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    So sad! My son is a Navy diver I hope he knows about this
     
  3. AmandaBrown23

    AmandaBrown23 Im just living among all the madness

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    this completely freaks me out
     
  4. sassy_texasbelle2

    sassy_texasbelle2 Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit

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  5. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    All these weird germ stories are freaking me out.

    Right now there is a child from our school with e. Coli and a man from our church with West Nile. Both are in ICU.

    I'm about to turn into Howard Hughes with the hand washing and not touching door handles. :crazy:
     
  6. IrishMist

    IrishMist You can't control the wind - but you can adjust yo

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    The whole idea of this germ/bacteria/whatever totally and completely freaks me out.
     
  7. IrishMist

    IrishMist You can't control the wind - but you can adjust yo

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    People tease me because I try not to touch hand railings, door knobs, etc, any more than I have to. If I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt, I'll slip the sleeve down over my hand so I'm not touching the railing. :eek: :)
     
  8. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    Honestly, it is the best thing you can do to prevent colds and flu besides washing your hands several/many times a day. I get freaked shaking someone's hand in the height of flu season. Don't even like to be around hospitals at that time of year either. You wouldn't believe the numbers of medical staff that don't wash their hands entering a hospital room.
     
  9. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    Lake LBJ, that's near me!!! I live on a lake and my husband waterskis. That article makes it sound like it's a COMMON Amoeba, but UNCOMMON to get the infection.

    I fear it is because we had so much rain and flooding this spring and summer that alot of septic tanks, etc. dumped into the lake. For a long time it was closed. I don't care to swim in the lake anymore.
     
  10. sassy_texasbelle2

    sassy_texasbelle2 Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit

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    You might let your hubby read this so maybe he will get a nose plug when he is out on the waterskis. I do not blame you I think I would stay out of that lake, or any lake for a while.
     
  11. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

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    Me too!!! Just one more thing to add to the list of my fear of water - except this one's way more real than Jaws!! :eek:
     
  12. Buzz Mills

    Buzz Mills New Member

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    There are probably super strains of amoeba, and paramecium, now. Just as the bacteria, and viruses, grow stronger, and become more drug resistant, because of the drugs we take, the since the drugs we take end up back in our water, and septic tanks, then that bacteria, virus, and amoeba, and paramecium, become stronger, and more drug resistant. They have programs now for recycling the drugs we have left in our medicine cabinets, as people were dumping them down their toilets, and they end up effecting, and infecting, our marine life.
     
  13. poco

    poco A cat will blink when struck with a hammer.

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    I remember hearing about this back in the 1980's when I lived in Texas. They said, then, that it occurred mainly in very warm waters, lakes, ponds, etc.
     
  14. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    I recently went back to school as a grown up and we just got done studying this in microbiology.
     
  15. AmandaBrown23

    AmandaBrown23 Im just living among all the madness

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    Okay now I am even more scared, I didnt see that it kills you in 2 weeks! YOu dont even have time to prepare. Omg
     
  16. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    Yes, our lake gets quite warm in the summer, too. Luckily, if you wear a life jacket, your head stays above water most of the time.
     
  17. Marthatex

    Marthatex New Member

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    Is it drug resistant?
     
  18. CaliKid

    CaliKid Former Member

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    Well, there's no known cure. They've tested drugs in the lab, but it sounds like you're dead before they know what killed you.
     
  19. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    I had to look in my notes, there is no effective treatment
     
  20. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    I wouldn't be getting in that lake at all. This stuff is pretty scary and people with an impaired immune system could be more vulnerable than others.
     

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