29
Sep
07

Brain Eater!

The genus Naegleria includes several species of free-living uninucleate amoebae that live in aquatic environment (ponds, lakes, sewage). It belongs to a family of amoebae (Valkampfiidae) whose members can transform into flagellate stage, which is a transient, non-feeding non-dividing form; the amoebal stage can also transform into a resistant cyst stage. The species Naegleria fowleri is occasionally pathogenic to a variety of mammals including humans. Following direct intranasal contact, usually by swimming, N. fowleri invade the olfactory bulb and progress along the olfactory nerves to the brain, thereby causing an acute and fulminating disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis.

Care for that in layman’s terms? You go swimming in a lake. This amoeba thing swims into your nose, crawls to your brain, consumes your brain, and then you die. 6 people in the US have already succumbed this year (3 in Florida, 1 in Texas, 1 in Arizona). Fun, eh?

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