Amoebae Are Zombies


I was reading this interesting article and thought I’d talk about it here. People are apparently dying rather suddenly from a small organism. It’s called Naegleria fowleri, an apparently little known amoeba that has deadly consequences. The good side of this is that it is not an epidemic and hopefully will not be flouted as one.

According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL’-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases — three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s.

You can become infected rather easily, which is scary. Since Naegleria lives in just about any warm, watery environment one can simply get it and not even know it until it’s too late. The stuff can even get into your swimming pool, if you don’t take care of the water and chlorine levels.

Beach said 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.

Once it gets up there it feeds on your tissue until it works its way into your and begins eating your brain cells. That’s about the end for you. While some lab based experiments have shown some promise in curing the issue, generally it’s fatal, even if you were to find out you were infected. Survival is rare.
Read the full article. This definitely makes things interesting when it comes to future Earth. Two hundred years from now the planet could be a lot warmer. What happens to Naegleria then?
Okay, so maybe that title is a bit misleading, since the amoebae aren’t exactly searching for brains, but it’s a catchy title, so sue me.

As an added bonus I have a resource link for all you fantasy writers out there!
Welcome to the world of historical maps. If you’re writing historical fantasy, alternate history, or even if you just want to see what the world looked like long ago, this is a great site for you. They are mostly maps of territory–who owned what and when, how countries were once split up, etc. But, if you know any history, then it will all be rather useful to you. And if you don’t, well, Google is always there to educate you. Besides, sometimes history can be fun. Such as knowing that in some cases, people who were beheaded didn’t die instantly, but would actually be ‘alive’ for a short period of time before the brain realized it was dead. Morbid? Sure. Interesting? I think so.


About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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