Nature & Environment
Rise of the brain-eating amoebas
By T.K. Randall
July 2, 2013 · 15 comments
Image Credit: CC 3.0 Arild Vagen
Incidents involving a fatal amoebic organism that dines on your brain are on the increase in the US.
Known by it's scientific name, Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoebas are generally very rare but thanks to warmer temperatures seem to be experiencing a rise in numbers. Found in fresh water, the organisms can be inhaled by swimmers, making their way in to the brain of the victim and dining on their cerebral fluid. Invariably this turns out to be fatal and to date there is no known effective treatment.
While such cases are still extremely unusual, there is concern among experts that an increase in numbers of the organism could lead to a greater number of fatalities in the future. "You could certainly say itís a concern of ours," said Jonathan Yoder of the CDC. "Weíre still trying to understand this."
Itís a fatal infection without an effective treatment, and one that strikes in a decidedly gruesome manner: An amoebic organism lurking in water is inadvertently inhaled during a swim on a hot summerís day.
Source: The Verge
| Comments (15)