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Old 07-26-2016   #1
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 75
Brain-Eating Amoeba Is Killing Paddlers in the South

I read this article (one of the rare non-shill quality pieces from Outside):

Brain-Eating Amoeba Is Killing Paddlers in the South | Outside Online

The article mentions that Naegleria fowleri amoeba has a temperature range where it becomes deadly to humans, so off to wikipedia :


And i found that it seems that the Amoeba begins to get dangerous around 77 deg F (25 deg C) when it leaves cyst form and can begin to reproduce and mobilize.

So, for those of us enjoying warmer paddling, here is something to think about.

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Old 07-26-2016   #2
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
That explains a lot of behavior here.

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Old 07-26-2016   #3
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 432
2 death this year out of 318,000,000 people in the United states. Or a 0.000006% change of death. A non-infected brain would struggle to comprehend just how low the risk of infection actually is.

Compare that with the 32,000 Vehicle deaths in the united states in 2014 or 32,000 out of 318,000,000.

Thus, the article mathematically true but misleading false given the probability of contracting a brain eating Amoeba is close to 0%. I would categorize it as Outside Mag click bait.

The Wikipedia article likely much more relevant given its non-add format.

In short, Brain - Eating Amoeba fascinating yes. Dangerous no at least not compared to driving which many Americans do every day.
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Old 07-26-2016   #4
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
Except that far less Americans go paddling than drive a car. The respective risk isn't really comparable.
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Old 07-26-2016   #5
Bayfield, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 79
I wonder how many paddle in 77+ water. That number is bound to be much lower still.
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Old 07-26-2016   #6
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Teacher, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 307
No brain to eat

That's it I quit kayaking!
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Old 07-26-2016   #7
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 49
Can I have your gear?

I need some new stuff.
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Old 07-26-2016   #8
glenwood springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5
Amoeba unlikely at least up here in Colorado/Utah

First it has to be in the water, then you have to get a significant dose in your sinus. Unlikely, and I would believe that if the river system freezes over winter the organize dies out or at least its life cycle is disrupted.
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Old 07-27-2016   #9
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,928
Definitely rare to have an infection, which the article notated. That said, the above math is inaccurate for the risk. It's an additive variable to other ones like driving and not comparable. We are also a noticeably smaller subset of the American population. As well, the virulence and chance of survival are an important component. And in this particular case it's at an immensely popular public venue and anf found in unusually high #s.

Fear does no good but educating the community can help. As a fan of hot springs I learned long ago to avoid putting my head underwater and/or pinching my nose (main pathway). Sounds like center is acting proactively and going to pre-treat the highly contaminated water before pumping it into the course. Sounds smart and to scale.

Interesting read as I thought it was mostly common in hit springs.
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Old 07-27-2016   #10
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 432
Paddle Iraq,

Sure less people drive then paddle. Perhaps a better comparison would be to the unintentional drowning in the US. On average 10 people per day die this way. Compared to 2 people from the brain eating amoeba.

Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts | Home and Recreational Safety | CDC Injury Center
According to the CDC:
"How big is the problem?
From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States about ten deaths per day.1 An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.2
About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.1 For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.1
More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments (EDs) require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries).1,2 These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).3,4"

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