Friday, May 30, 2008

Is that Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis or are you just stupid?

I've always thought the ponds and lakes of the deep south looked inviting. Factor out the snakes and gators and you've got a year round natural open-water swimming. Then I read about PAM (see title) last year.

PAM is a brain eating amoeba. Yes, you read that right, campers. It sounds horrible and it can kill.

I thought I'd link to this since I'm guessing some of my readers are open-water afficienados (sp?). PAM is found in warm waters of a number of southern and some east coast states. It can live in ill-maintained pools and is also found in ponds and lakes (not sure about running water such as streams and rivers).

Among the recommendations of ways to avoid PAM are to avoid getting water in your orifaces. Apparently when you jump into the water and it goes up your nose, you can get the bug. Then it's just a short jump to the brain. One of the work arounds goes against my principals (nose plugs - ewww!). I guess this is one case of me thinking a nice clean pool is better than a natural.

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