In the past month, two different 12-year-olds have made headlines after being hospitalized with an extremely rare, horrifying infection: the brain-eating amoeba.
Found mostly in warm freshwater lakes, rivers and hotsprings, Naegleria fowleri can travel up a person's nose and into the brain, where it goes to work destroying brain tissue. Most cases in the U.S.--32 were reported between 2001 and 2010--have occurred in the warm Southeast, according to CNN.
The Florida Department of Health issued a warning against people swimming in warm, shallow water after seventh grader Zachary Reyna contracted the parasite Aug. 3.
Unfortunately, as much as we'd like brain-eating parasites to be confined to sci-fi fever dreams, Naegleria fowleri isn't the only micro-organism that, when given the chance, will invade the human cranium. Not for the faint of heart, here are a few more to lose sleep over:
The Case Of The Lost Pork Tapeworm
Common in Africa, Asia and Latin America, adult Taenia solium tapeworms can live inside the human intestinal tract, producing eggs that its human host then expels fecally. As an eye-opening feature in Discover describes, the eggs can get swept up by pigs as the animals forage for food. The larvae hatch in a pig's stomach and make their way into its bloodstream, eventually arriving at its muscles, where it will likely be eaten by a human in, say, a pork taco.
But sometimes, the cycle gets interrupted. Someone contaminates food with tapeworm eggs bound for a pig's stomach. The tapeworm eggs hatch, but instead of developing into an adult tapeworm in the intestines, they burrow into the bloodstream as would normally occur in a pig. In a human, they often end up in the brain, forming cysts that cause a disease called neurocysticercosis. It can cause seizures, headaches and can lead to death. As if you needed another reason to wash your hands.
Catching The Cat Crazy
The single-celled organism Toxoplasma gondii, which can only reproduce in the conditions provided by feline guts, is a master manipulator. When it infects a rat, its makes its host abnormally unafraid of cat urine, upping the rodent's chances of getting eaten by a cat and returning the parasite to its favorite locale. Sadly for humans, humans can also be infected by the sneaky t. gondii. In the U.S., one in four adults has been infected with t. gondii, but only a small number become ill enough to notice, according to Science News.
There's some concern that the parasite slows reaction times and puts people at double the risk of traffic accidents, and a study in JAMA Psychiatry found links between t. gondii and women's risk of self-harm, such as self-mutilation. On the bright side for pet lovers, cat ownership doesn't seem to be a predictor of infection.
A Worm In The Eye
The thread-like Loa loa is an eye worm, but when it comes to parasites crawling around in your body, that's too close to the brain for comfort. The species, found in western and central Africa, can migrate through human tissue for 10 to 15 years. Infection stems from the bite of deer and mango flies that live in rainforests and swamps.
Having a worm crawling around in your body can cause itching (and what one medical dictionary calls "a creeping sensation in the tissues"), inflammation, damage to the nervous system and the retina. Paradoxically, using drugs to kill off the Loa loa larvae can be dangerous, because when large numbers of the larvae die in and around the brain, they can block capillaries and cause encephalopathy, a condition that can cause cognitive losses, memory problems, personality changes, and more.
Auuughhhh. In comparison, a brain-eating-zombie attack doesn't seem that bad.
Probably the most frightening is the M. Bop, more commonly known as Hanson's Ear Worm. Infection doesn't require direct contact and once you are infected there is no cure, though it frequently goes dormant until re-exposure. The most common symptoms are twitching, irritability and involuntary vocalization (which often results in this parasite becoming active in infected hosts nearby), though it has been known to result in being shot to death in an elevator.
Colloidal Silver Atoms 3000 PPM, the smallest particle size in the CS industry can be applied to the nose into the sinuses where they can immediatly travel to the brain to deter these nasty parasites.
Parasites don't "want" anything.
That is simple anthropomorphization.
Should have included Bayliscariasis. Thats a pretty icky one too.
Flea and tick (bugs) killer too!
Hi "DE" (food grade) enthusiasts, lovers, and researchers! Wait til you hear this! If anyone would take heed to this, then all the thousands of $ I spent, and all the suffering I went through would be worth it! PLEASE don't make my suffering be all in vain. Use this info. to benefit you and your loved ones!
I wanted to title this "Thank God For Fleas!" but Corrie Ten Boom beat me to it! LOL! If it wasn't for fleas, I never would have been here to tell you that DE saved my life!!!
In the middle of the night my dogs were itching and scratching, I couldn't find fleas, so I Googled "What rids mites...?" And webside after website came up talking about "DE". As I read "...kills mites, fleas, bed bugs, insects, parasites < "PARASITES"! OMG!!! I am a groomer and breeder of expensive (show quality) Miniature Schnauzers, (my last sold for $1,500.00) I accidently itched my left tear duct with dog feces on finger! 2-1/2 days later I got the first migraine ever and was in the left eye! (I thought I'd get Pink Eye! No doctor would treat me, thought I was lying, only wanting drugs, forced me to see a psychiatrist, mocked me, shamed me, etc. until my left eye went sideways and an MRI showed a 7mm ball (nest of worms) by then (after months of suffering), still they refused a parasitic killer and I was in ERs every 10 days - 2 weeks < "incubation period" (Daah!) I then suffered over 100 symptoms (never had before when healthy) in a 1-1/2 year period and when I was on my death bed Mar. 18th, 2008, an Infectious Disease Doc decided to listen to me and gave me "Albenza" and saved my life (most all the symptoms left, mainly: migraines, vomitings, brain on fire too, eyes seeing flourescent, eye turned, 7mm nest, ER visits, temp at 95, etc.) "most" (but not all) worried me, but now it doesn't anymore! I FOUND DE!!! Sept. 9th, 2013, I took 1 Tb. in morn and 1 Tb at night, I also mixed some in peanut butter for the dogs daily dose < they love bite my fingers with it! We love it! I slept like a baby for 2 days (backed off so much and took 1 teas. morn and 1 teas. for night, then upped it gradually). Short lasting pains started happening all over my brain, THEN the 4 main organs I worried about were effected one by one. The gullbladder wrenched with pain then I was finally relieved in esctasy! The same happened to my liver (I always knew there was probably a liver fluke there, both these organs were attacked with about 8 bites in a row durring my horrible ordeal with the 2006-2008 parasite problem. THEN the top right side of my brain was inflamed (I worried, but trusted DE was fighting for me! and I was right...on the third day of taking DE, I had what I believe to be a seizure (my first), I was told it might happen from what I experienced years ago. Lounging, severe tickling in the dead center of my brain for about 30 seconds (kinda felt good) when it stopped, I noticed my eyes were fixed upward (seizure?) Now, are you ready for this?! The day I gave my 92 year old mother-in-law DE, the Alzheimer Center said "What is wrong with her, she was clumbsy all day!" when they heard about DE, they yelled at me and said "Stop and ask her doctor first!" < I said "OK!" (but I did my homework and continued. Drs don't care about us past 85, they are more interested in reseach of what will happen to someone her age trying something different "At this age, nothing makes a difference!" doctors tell me throught the 6 years I have been caregiver to her, she was 111, and I got her up to 133 at doctors amazement). Wow are their thinking wrong! It is now Nov. 1, and not that she no longer (because of DE) wants her brace for her back anymore (she always clung to for dear life for a decade+), nor her cane or walker, nor the fact she doesn't complain of pain anymore, but added to that now: 2 days ago she was so mad we told her to go to bed at 10pm, she shot out of her chair and RAN < R-A-N! through the house saying "Oh for pete sake!" right to her room! < tell me how that could happen!!! AND! Oct. 15th, I suffered (gladly) a golf ball size pain (migraine) in the top left of my brain! And the next days (when the pain subsided), I suffered drainage like acid all over the left side of my head and when it drained all over the left eyeball, I suffered an eyeball migraine (level 7 pain tollerence, which I have suffered much worse so I refused ER < hate them!) and nausea, and feverish while it drained into neck and chest. Well, today Nov. 1, 2013 I FEEL GREAT! My head is all clear like nothing ever happened, been through another MRI (they didn't find anything), blood tests are fairly good, my sugar is astondingly lowered and I pigged out on candy this last month! LOL! I lost 2 pounds and didn't try, LOL!!! Oh, I forgot, my movement was getting worse and worse, struggled to get out of bed (for a 57 YO?!) But since the drainage from the golf ball size pain, I can move again and feel like conquering everything! Little by little all the pain around my left eye went. My immune system took care of the waste (toxins) and flushing it out: drinking and drinking ionized water (molecules are half the size of tap and store water) gets to the brain FAST! also it gets more nutrients out of your food and will de-acid it too. I want to note: MAKE SURE you take DE with sugar of some sort (my favorite is a pudding cup mixed with DE in morn, and a yogurt cup mixed with DE at night) The reason be is that "parasites" love sugar and will do anything to get to it (shhh, laced with DE)
My eye doctor who has the most degrees for that specialty did not know of DE! He was glad I told him today and intends on doing his own research on it, he is still amazed how "Albenza" took away that 7mm "Schwannoma" he and his colleges in Michigan called it, but in truth it was called "a nest of worms"! Why do doctors refuse to believe there is a thing called "micro-organisms" and "parasites" (germs, worms, fungus, bacteria, yeast, insects, etc.) and that we humans are perfect hosts (warm, moist, dark, wealthy food source, soft, smelly, etc.)?