Friday, September 28, 2007

Killer Brain Eating Amoeba - MNSBC article

A rare killer amoeba (naeglaria) living in lakes enters the victims' body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die. More prevalent as water temp goes up.

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. 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. Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Fatal within 2 weeks.

The easiest way to prevent infection is to use nose clips when swimming or diving in fresh water.