News story from Australia got me thinking about parasites

Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
In the US we tend to ridicule parasitic infection or mold as something 'made up' but in places like Australia (where, in some areas, kids take pyrantel with milk regularly) they don't treat it as quite so far fetched. And the best advice I found on the internet about mold I found on UK sites (I'm assuming because of all the rain). Paleos even claim that we're living in a 'too clean' environment and our immune systems don't get enough activity.

Anyway I think the opposite is true. We ignore it, so problems become 'idiopathic' and people get hurt without explanation.

So a guy died of parasitic infection of rat lungworm that caused meningitis and it was in the news today. I thought I'd look that up because it had echoes of what I experienced. When I was young and wild, I was the clown in school who would eat chocolate with mayonaise or other foods you'd only eat on a dare. But I didn't go so far as to eat stuff that would have dirt in it. Not that you'd have to if you're in a public school in the US, the mystery meat is probably scary enough.

Anyway my heart went out to this boy and his family. Apparently his 24 hour care wasn't fully funded by the government and I've certainly fought that battle with insurance and disability when my mom was ill. I also have unexplained pain in my legs and of course meningitis symptoms.

The boy:

[article]He didn’t become sick immediately, but complained of serious pain in his legs in the days after.

He was worried it might’ve been a symptom of eating the slug, but his mother told him not to worry: “No-one gets sick from that,” she said.

Sam was worried he might have developed Multiple sclerosis, like his father, but that was ruled out.

Doctors later determined Sam was infected with rat lungworm.

The worm that infected Sam is usually found in rodents, but snails and slugs can also become infected when they eat rat faeces.

Sam contracted eosinophilic meningo-encephalitis, which many people recover from. Sam didn’t.

He fell into a coma for 420 days and when he woke had an acquired brain injury.

Last week, eight years after he fell ill, Sam died. The Sunday Project’s Lisa Wilkinson broke the news during a sombre but brief segment.

“We have some sad news for you now. Earlier this year we brought you the story of Sam Ballard who, on a dare from his mates, ate a slug. He contracted rat lung disease with devastating effects,” Wilkinson said.Type your article here[/article]

The disease:

[article]he three main parasites that cause EM in some infected people are:

Angiostrongylus cantonensis (neurologic angiostrongyliasis)
Baylisascaris procyonis (baylisascariasis; neural larva migrans)
Gnathostoma spinigerum (neurognathostomiasis)

How These Parasites Spread

These parasites normally infect animals not people, and they are not spread from one person to another. People get infected by ingesting something that has the infectious form or stage of the parasite. Please visit CDC’s websites for additional details about how these parasites are spread, besides the examples listed here:

People can get infected with A. cantonensis in various ways, such as by ingesting raw or undercooked snails or slugs or by eating contaminated produce.
People get infected with B. procyonis by accidentally ingesting infectious parasite eggs in raccoon feces or in something (such as dirt) contaminated with raccoon feces.
People can get infected with G. spinigerum in various ways, such as by eating raw or undercooked freshwater fish or eels, frogs, poultry, or snakes.

The contaminated produce thing bothers me. I've certainly done my share of organic gardening. And I was a raw foodist around the time I developed migraines for the first time.

Anyway it might be an avenue for research.

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