An Incurable Fungal Disease That Eats Your Brain! Yet Another Reason Not to Live in the Southwest.


Maybe that explains Jan Brewer.

Any worse than the memetic plague that's been affecting Washington State for so many years?
At our age, just keeping sphincters closed is a chore.
The Valley Fever, (ie San Joaquin Valley) has been known for some time.
@4 No shit. I have a couple of friends from Bakersfield, and they told me about it when I first visited there 20 years ago. They'd grown up with this crap, as far as I could tell.

Not exactly news. More cases because more sprawl? Suck on that, Bailo.
@1 Jan Brewer suffers from past alcoholism and too much hair bleach, coupled with the sun blinding her to any factual truth. She probably wishes she could blame her idiocy on Valley Fever.

Growing up in AZ, we always had the PSAs about Valley Fever (and Hepatitis - an annoying song that I can sing verbatim still), but as @5 says, it became more of an issue when they started the rampant building of cookie cutter housing developments, destroying the crust over the desert soil and the plant life that kept the soil more contained.
After playing Last of Us, I so didn't need to read that.
@6, @1 -- my favorite Jan Brewer scene was a few years back when she was asked some question she hadn't been scripted for, you know, something about policy or government or something trivial like that, and she just stared motionless and silent at the TV camera for more than a minute. Just a total shutdown of brain function. She's the Terri Schiavo of governors.
Or, the disease that everyone who picks up a cold at Coachella hypochondriacs themselves into believing they brought home.
Jesus, 20,000 reported cases? Now I'm getting visions of the moths and ants infected by fungus in the jungle episode of Planet Earth.

@8 Excellent!
@4 & Goldy...

Here is something to keep you awake at night, when you jumped into Lake Washington... (Actually, it is probably too cold for this amoeba) but it does like Lake Havasu..…
Just FYI - Cocci is present in pretty much every square inch of soil in this country. It may be more prevalent in the southwest for whatever reason but it's certainly present here. That is why those of us who keep chickens feed our baby chicks medicated feed and/or keep them housed indoors and off of the soil for the first weeks of their life. Chickens are especially susceptible, particularly when they are young. So think about that one every time you're digging in the garden!
You eventually have written something that strikes my gland medial to the "humerus."
@6 Wash you hands after going to the bathroom!

Thanks for reminding me of that damn jingle that I had mostly forgotten...
Wash your hands after changing baby too!
Sorry @14. It's a horrible ear worm.
But whoever came up with that ad should be a millionaire, since I can't seem to forget it - even after 20 or so years.
In related news, there's a vidya game out recently called "The Last of Us", a zombie survival game in which the civilized world is torn asunder by formerly human THINGS corrupted by a mutant relative of the cordyceps fungus. Of course, cordyceps et alia spores are wind-dispersed, but the zombie fungus in that still spreads from infected bites only.
@4 and @5: The concern is not the disease itself, but that it is increasingly common and very difficult to treat effectively.
For perspective, imagine if 20,000 bears came down from the mountains and started eating people. Would you say "pshhhh, we've known about bears forever," or would you say "holy shit, we need to do something about this man-eating bear outbreak"?
@17, hell, that's just Pride Week, isn't it?
Also, coccidioidomycosis is totally curable. There's a couple different antifungals that are used in severe cases.
@19: Not totally curable (or, RTFA). In severe, complicated infections, such as when it spreads to bone or spinal tissue, it's very difficult to treat and frequently fatal. Those cases used to be very rare, but are becoming increasingly common.
@8 - you mean this moment?
Yikes, @11. I can't count the number of times I've jumped into Havasu during spring break in the 90s. Perhaps my tequila consumption at that time protected me from the brain-sucking ameoebas....
@13 It must pain you to be so kind.
Watch out for the Clickers.
@11 Naegleria fowleri really like very warm water like 85/30 degrees water to breed. The most dangerous time at a place like Lake Havasu or Lake Mead is around August, and in really warm spots. A simple technique to suck up the amoeba via the nose, is a noseclip. Swallowing it via the stomach isn't lethal. The amoeba has to get to the brain via the sinuses.

Anyway, it is great creature to make a horror film about..
Star Trek, Wrath of Khan gave me nightmares for years with the ear creature, and it wasn't even a horror movie...

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