Saturday, September 29, 2007

Global warming boon for brain-eating amoeba

Sensational headline — one with some basis in fact:

"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."

The villain is a killer amoeba, Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye), that enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die. The good news is that it has only killed six boys and young men this year, the bad news is that this is a spike; it has killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004.

The other bad news is that it's only getting hotter.

Technorati Tags

No comments: