Climate change causes spread of brain-eating amoeba

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by Jo Nova

And you thought I was being satirical, but no, it’s just today’s installment of two-star climate porn from The Guardian.

What the journalist didn’t mention was that one degree of warming will save 166,000 lives a year, but maybe kill one more person per annum from amebic meningoencephalitis.

Let’s spend a trillion dollars:

How the climate crisis is fueling the spread of a brain-eating amoeba

Naegleria fowleri grows in warm fresh water, making it well-suited to proliferate as temperatures rise in the US

Katherine Gammon, The Guardian

Naegleria grows best in warm waters – temperatures above 30C, and can tolerate temperatures of up to 46C, says Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona. That makes it well-suited to spread in a warming climate.

“It likes warm surface waters during the summer in the northern latitudes,” he says.

The amoeba causes an illness called primary amebic meningoencephalitis, and while getting sick is rare – between 2012 to 2021, only 31 cases were reported in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control – it’s incredibly lethal. According to the CDC, only four people out of 151 have survived the infection between 1962 and 2020.

And the rate of increase so far, with all those emissions, is nothing:

A 2021 study showed that even though the rate of infections hasn’t budged, the amoeba is moving from southern states to midwestern areas.

Which will it be? We could try to change the global temperature or we could ask kids to wear nose-clips:

As experts continue to observe these changes, Gerba recommends some precautions for swimming in natural fresh water. It’s best to avoid putting your head underwater to prevent water getting into your nose in warm freshwater areas. Another option is to wear nose clips, especially for children, he says.

Doing feet-first leaps into very warm lakes in summer will increase the risk of forcing the wrong kind of water up your nose. In other good rules for life, don’t do nasal aspiration with warm lake water.

Previous cases have also shown people contracting the infection through contaminated water used for backyard slip-n-slides or performing nasal irrigation.


Journalist just lies by omission.

via JoNova

September 21, 2022