If I was to make a list of things I never want to encounter it would look something like this:
As you can see, a brain-eating amoeba is No. 1 on the list, and the most likely since I don’t yet have an ex-wife.
In Louisiana, however, the threat of a brain-eating microorganism is very real.
CNN reports the death of a 4-year-old boy has been blamed on the rare single-celled animal. Tests conclude the St. Bernard Parish water supply contains ‘Naegleria fowleri,’ which is found in hot springs and other warm fresh water, most often in the southwest U.S.
The Louisiana parish’s water is safe to drink, but getting water in the nose may allow the amoeba to travel to the brain where it begins eating. Less than 1 percent of patients survive the infection.
Chlorine kills the amoeba, but apparently the Louisiana water system had let chlorine levels dip too low.
I was reading the Wikipedia entry on amoebas and was startled to read that they are “organisms that yolo all over the place.” Someone needs to fix that.
In 2003, two children died after contracting the amoeba in the only other public drinking water case ever reported in the U.S.
Since the amoeba does live in lakes, rivers, streams and other natural bodies of warm water, the CDC suggests the following:
The next time I am in a lake or taking a shower in St. Bernard Parish I may have to jam chlorine tablets in my nostrils.
Here’s some more news I discovered before shuttin’ ‘er down Friday: