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This morning while drinking my morning cup of coffee I turned on the tube just in time to hear Good Morning America state...

What every parent should know before letting their children swim in fresh water ponds and lakes after the break...(or some phrase very similar).

So I was intrigued and waited until after the commercials (one about an asthma treatment for Sunil, that while helping his asthma may cause him to bleed from several orifices and have feelings of homicidal mania far beyond his normal level).

Anyhoo, so the the segment begins and they discuss the truly tragic case of a second child that has died this month due to being infected by a dangerous freshwater amoeba. And while these are very sad and tragic cases and I can't imagine the grief the parents must be feeling, I was struck by the irresponsibility of the story as well.

They story made it seem like every parent should be very concerned about letting a child swim in a pond. They had an expert that indicated that two or three cases like this happen per year and that the percentage was low (three cases per year versus unknown millions that swim in fresh water ponds, lakes and rivers each year).

GMA of course offered no solution to the problem but told parents that they should be aware of the issue.

Fox new's had this to say....

Amoeba Parasite Kills Second U.S. Child This Month

A nine-year-old Virginia boy has become the second child in the U.S. to die this month after being infected by a dangerous freshwater amoeba, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday.

The boy, identified by family members as Christian Strickland, died Aug. 5. An autopsy found the death had been caused by primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, which occurs after the amoeba enters the brain.

The Richmond boy's death comes roughly a week after Florida girl Courtney Nash, 16, was killed by the same parasite, which is commonly found in lakes and rivers.

Christian's mother, Amber Strickland, said he had been dunked in an unidentified body of water during a fishing camp he attended the week before he died. She told the Times-Dispatch she believes that is when he took in the contaminated water.

"He went from playing video games to being brain dead," she said.

The disease, which cannot be transmitted person-to-person, spreads rapidly and usually results in death within days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials say that while the amoeba is rare—with just 32 infections in the U.S. from 2001 to 2010—it does increase in summer months when the water temperature rises.

Christian's death marked the first amoeba death in Virginia since 1969.

According to the Mayo Clinic Website, Naegleria infection begins within one to two weeks of exposure to the amoeba, and symptoms can include a change in the sense of smell or taste, fever, sudden headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and loss of balance. The symptoms can progress rapidly and typically lead to death within three to seven days.

Anyone who experiences these symptoms after swimming should seek medical attention immediately.


What I find most irritating about the story is that to say the infection is rare is an understatement. 32 infections from 2001 to 2010? Compared to how many people swam in fresh water ponds, lakes and rivers during the same period (10s of millions? 100s of millions? who knows?). I have the utmost sympathy for the parents of the children that have been affected, these are truly tragic cases. But to plant that fear in parents about swimming in fresh water is IHMO irresponsible.

I guess I need to stop watching GMA and stop taking Sunil's asthma medicine (and probably stop drinking the proverbial Kool-Aide).



JHAP
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Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
I guess I need to stop watching GMA and stop taking Sunil's asthma medicine (and probably stop drinking the proverbial Kool-Aide).

Try some of Bing's blue pills...you too can become a happy fisherman

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Hey JHAP,

Your right it is rare, but makes you think. The actuall name of the infection is called Naegleria fowleri. Looks like a pretty nasty little sucker. More noted for warmer climate areas and stagnate lakes and ponds. Well that's what I read anyway. I wonder where it comes from? Frogs? Birds? Dead fish? You would think there would be more cases of it if it came from frogs, birds or fish though? I don't know. It really is sad though. I mean 3 to 7 days once you go to the doctor and your dead! I am so sorry for thoses parents how tough that must be!

Last edited by RC51; 08/17/11 12:14 PM.

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You are far more likely to be struck by lightening while hanging around you pond than you are to catch that bug. Still a bit on the freaky side though...

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Definitely tragic. Can't imagine how difficult it would be. Kinda wish I hadn't read this because like CJB said, it's on the freaky side! But, at least I'm aware of it now.

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I would still swim in my pond though, but only if I took the blue pill.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Yeesh! I could be gone by next week. I fell in the pond last night.

I foolishly didn't have the canoe tied to the dock when I was trying to get in it. I put one foot in the canoe, and the other was on the dock. In a split second I wasn't in the canoe or on the dock anymore. There were fatalities. I had a basket full of crickets that didn't make it.

Actually, I'm sure a lot more people die doing stupid things like I did to myself in my swimming episode described above.

We are planning a few days at the beach soon. I don't think I'll stay out of the water because of all the sharks in the area. From all the shark attacks we've had, we've had a lot of good meals -- that is, the sharks attacked my bait, and we ate the sharks. I'm sure a lot more sharks get eaten by humans, than humans get eaten by sharks.

Yes, these things are tragic. But as Jeff says, they are extremely rare.


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and yet, no mention of the Chubacabra...

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Originally Posted By: Brettski
and yet, no mention of the Chubacabra...


No, but I saw on the noon news that they have spotted a giant capybara rooting around in a sewage pond half-way between JHAP's residence and his pond. Capybara sighting in California grin


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"I put one foot in the canoe, and the other was on the dock."

So you've got a mean groin pull then?


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted By: Brettski
and yet, no mention of the Chubacabra...


I believe you mean "chupacabras", my fortean friend.

We had one that used to hang around our ponds, dining on big HBG, and frightening off property assessors..

Unfortunately, it became addicted to doing cannonballs off the dock, and contracted "Naegleria fowleri".

They do make pretty good catfish bait.

Wish I had thought to take pictures first though....


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If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
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Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
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Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

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Originally Posted By: Sunil
"I put one foot in the canoe, and the other was on the dock."

So you've got a mean groin pull then?


Naw. No harm, no foul. Not even my pride was hurt -- as nobody saw me do it. I just kind of chuckled to myself over my stupidity. I then fished from the dock till I was almost dry.


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Originally Posted By: Sunil


We are conditioned better than Pavlov's dogs. I clicked on the link. I didn't remember seeing it before, but even before I saw who posted it, I immediately knew the perpetrator. grin


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Originally Posted By: Theo Gallus
JHAP, I'm glad you are so accepting of your former costar's subsequent success.

After all, he did get you that cameo appearance as Pigpen's brother (the one who was devoured) in the obscure Peanuts special "It's a Chupucabra, Charlie Brown!"

classic

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Keep the kids out of automobiles. More die per year that way. I wonder if GMA will do a story on the dangers of autos?

I realize they have to earn their keep somehow, but come on now!


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Originally Posted By: Sunil
I would still swim in my pond though, but only if I took the blue pill.

Do that and folks would think that you really, really, really, like your pond.

Interesting story on the Capybara, I read that a couple of days ago. They find the strangest things in LA. Slimy, venomous, blood sucking pests, that would much rather do harm that good. Fortunately though the animals that are native to LA are fairly docile.

Oh and why is it that I get implicated in so many Chupacabra stories?


JHAP
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Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
Fortunately though the animals that are native to LA are fairly docile.


So when's the last time you walked down Hoolyweird Blvd. around 11:00 p.m.? wink


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