Claim: Climate Will Cause an Invasion of Brain Eating Parasites

Tail of adult male of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, showing copulatory bursa and long spicules (arrows). Scale bar is 85 µm.

Tail of adult male of Angiostrongylus cantonensis, showing copulatory bursa and long spicules (arrows). Scale bar is 85 µm. By John F. Lindo, Cecilia Waugh, John Hall, Colette Cunningham-Myrie, Deanna Ashley, Mark L. Eberhard, James J. Sullivan, Henry S. Bishop, David G. Robinson, Timothy Holtz, and Ralph D. Robinson – JLindo J. F., Waugh C., Hall J., Cunningham-Myrie C., Ashley D., Eberhard M. L., Sullivan J. J., Bishop H. S., Robinson D. G., Holtz T. & Robinson R. D. (2002). “Enzootic Angiostrongylus cantonensis in Rats and Snails after an Outbreak of Human Eosinophilic Meningitis, Jamaica”. Emerging Infectious Diseases 8(3): 324-326. HTM. figure 1A., Public Domain, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The sudden surge of a nasty parasitic disease which has infected half a dozen people in the last 3 months has been blamed on climate.

A Brain-Invading Parasite Is Believed To Be Spreading Because Of Climate Change

Rhett Jones Apr 9, 2017, 4:00pm

Health officials in Hawaii have been warning residents not to touch snails or slugs with their bare hands because of an increase in cases of people coming into contact with a rare parasitic infection known as a rat lungworm. Experts are blaming its sudden spread across the United States on climate change and globalisation.

In the last two decades, there have only been two documented cases of rat lungworm infections in Hawaii. But in the past three months, six more cases have occurred in rapid succession. Other states where it has recently popped up include California, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. According to the Atlantic, the first known case of the disease occurred in Taiwan in 1944 but in the past few years, it’s believed to have spread to the U.S. by way of rats in cargo ships.

The severity of the disease can vary wildly, there’s no known treatment, and it’s notoriously difficult to diagnose.

Cases of rat lungworm infections have been documented in over 30 countries and health officials are worried about its appearance in areas where previously the habitat was believed to be unsuitable. One recent surprise location was in Oklahoma. Scientists fear that this is just another consequence of climate change.

Read more:

Pretty terrifying right? The disease sounds nasty and painful, sometimes fatal, and it is currently untreatable.

But climate is not the primary cause of this problem.

The disease is described as difficult to detect, so a lot of cases in the past might have been misdiagnosed – the apparent surge in cases could simply be better diagnostics.

The referenced article in The Atlantic barely mentions climate change as a factor.

83 thoughts on “Claim: Climate Will Cause an Invasion of Brain Eating Parasites

  1. Perhaps if more money was spent on public health education, instead of wasted on unsustainables, there would be far less health issues.

  2. The evidence is clear, people on the left are already suffering. Not sure why, but I bet it wouldn’t be hard to come up with a relationship. Say like how the Exxon Valdez was caused by climate change.

    This is meant to be humorous so I hope nobody takes offense.

    • Don’t apologize – that was my first thought also! Publication of claims like this is PROOF POSITIVE that significant proportions of our population have ALREADY been infused with brain-eating parasites!!!

  3. Hot damn, for a while I thought zombies were the one threat that wouldn’t get worse under agw.

    Now I’m worried

  4. This is the same story as the story of the fox worm in Central Europe, which can be said to affect people’s lungs and liver. Years of hysteria have passed since it was noticed that because of the fox worm no one has died yet. Although it can spread in the body in a few cases (when the defenses are weakened), it encapsulates itself, so to speak, and becomes inactive. Anything but targeted panic make by whoever. Probably mankind needs panic, especially when there is no reason for it. In addition, it does not assume that lung worms and fox worms are as old as humanity. Quite surely they are much older and were already present in the realm of dinosaurs (modified). It is a mystery to me how to be so little awe-inspiring to nature and to place the modern man at the center of his navel-vision. There were parasites, bacteria and viruses already far in front of humans and will also give it far after him. Perhaps we owe our DNA to the viruses, bacteria and parasites, as we look at our DNA, so here a large amount of DNA is docked by viruses and billions of bacteria are buzzing in our intestines.

    • hmm?
      I am wondering if you mean Hydatid worms?
      sounds an awful lot like it.
      theyre a known issue with dogs n cats especially in Aus getting untreated offal or eating wild roos in the case of hunting or working dogs in rural areas
      we just make sure offal if fed is from human abbatoirs and checked and from treated animals.
      farm animals are treated as a matter of course with drenches and immunisation.
      and we worm our pets at least 2x a yr using the hydatid wormer and 2x normal meds.
      IF we suspect theyre at risk
      and hydatid cysts can be a bugger to treat
      surgical removal usually and done VERY carefully as the cyst is fragile n if it breaks..thats when things go pearshaped;-(

  5. Yeah, diseases become uncontrollable after fractional increases in temperature. Plague is next!

    Couldn’t possibly be that carriers are managing to get to new areas and contaminating them, spreading the disease, right?

    “climate change and globalisation.”

    Oh… there it is… GLOBALISM. ie mass movement of goods from one region to another. But hey, it makes headlines if you use the phrase Climate Change and you get grant money.

    • uh huh
      why the hell they dont bait for vermin on all ships as standard and enforced means of ensuring the rats n mice dont manage to survive the trip?
      i know Aus used to fumigate most containers for pests
      until the ultra worried got it stopped and now we have crazy n red ants and lacewing and a pile of other nasty bugs we didnt have before.
      cutting funding to our AQUIS inspections didnt help either;-(

  6. “Experts are blaming its sudden spread across the United States on climate change and globalisation.”

    Globalisation yes, climate change, no.

  7. Brain eating parasites causing belief in human caused climate change is more apropos.

  8. I used to read a lot of tech blogs but I had to drop most of them because of their uncritical, incredulous global warming / climate change stories.
    Tomshardware is about the only one left that I can tolerate. Anandtech is mostly good lately.
    I just checked Engadget and they put up a climate change article just 3 hours ago:
    Thurrott is one of the oldest websites that I visit and though he might listen to NPR, he never mentions climate change. Smart man.

    • Same here. The tech blogs I used to read have all bought into climate change panic. Thank you for the blog names that haven’t. I will subscribe.

    • I read every issue of Wired from the first until it became warmist, what which point I dropped my sub. I don’t follow it online either.

  9. This is so illogical – any increase in warming over the past 60 years is tiny in comparison to the ranges of temperatures that occur around the globe. If an organism can survive in a world in which seasonal temps vary as much as they do, they sure aren’t going to be affected by an increase of a degree of average temperatures. These arguments are so insane, one wonders if their proponents
    have any knowledge of living organisms here on Earth. They must be from Mars, I suppose.

      • Seriously, as climate science rampages across the globe, reeking havoc on things like logic, many would-be intelligent people are so brainwashed (by science) that they thoughtlessly perform a little ritualistic defamation of religion (?), rather than face the glaring failure of science to perform as they imagined it would.

        Where’s the rest of science? Why no widespread outrage? Simple; without religion there’s no logical reason not to go for the gusto, so to speak. Maximum personal pleasure and minimum pain. There are sentimental reasons to do otherwise perhaps, but no logical ones . .

        • Religion=Superstition=Beliefs held without logic or evidence=Make up your own evidence to support you beliefs.

      • “Religion=Superstition=Beliefs held without logic or evidence”

        How exactly do you know that all religious beliefs are without logic or evidence, sir?

  10. Back to nature:

    From Echinococcus multilocularis

    To Angiostrongylus cantonensis,

    Children and grandchildren will no longer be allowed to experience it.

  11. In climate “science”, any claim that climate change will produce grievous harm is assumed to be true.

    Climate “scientists” still won’t answer the questions: if a warmer climate is destructive to life, and any increase in CO2 and temperature causes a feedback loop that will burn earth’s surface to a cinder, they why are we here? How did life survive 530 million of the last 550 million years when CO2 was an order of magnitude higher and the climate was much, MUCH warmer?

  12. They are stumbling around in the dark, but keep getting closer to the truth. The brain eating parasite is not caused by climate change, but instead, the climate change hysteria was caused by the brain infecting parasite. The parasite causes the infected individual to become very susceptible to suggestion and magnifies fears. Any scenario the infected individual is exposed to will become a life-and-death issue for that individual. For instance, if there was a story about flying pink elephants threatening the world, the hysteria would have been about flying pink elephants.
    As it turns out, the initial infection was in New York City, at Columbia University, where the parasite was brought in by a foreign exchange student. The initial outbreak was at NASA GISS, where the parasite spread from person to person by close contact. Because Global Warming was the “Next Big Thing” in environmental scares, under development at GISS, it became the basis for the hysteria in infected individuals.
    From there, the infection spread throughout the scientific community and the environmental movement both, taking it’s paranoia about “Global Warming” with it. The transmission vector was almost surely scientific conferences, and environmental protests.

    For years, people have been arguing the science of Global Warming, and then arguing the politics. In the end, these lines of inquiry were fruitless. Now we know why. We should have been talking about public health, infection vectors, and medical treatments for parasite infections.
    So now we know the truth. Finally, we have a reason for the Global Warming hysteria which actually makes sense.

  13. “The disease is described as difficult to detect, so a lot of cases in the past might have been misdiagnosed – the apparent surge in cases could simply be better diagnostics.”

    The existence of possible alternative theories does not eliminate or invalidate the best explanation. After all it might have been unicorns.

    The critter has a known range. And yes detection of the disease has improved. Detection of the disease however doesn’t change the range of the critter.

    Finally if you really want to be clever and not just a skept-bot
    You could say that climate policy that drove manufacturing over seas eventually results in the importation.of strange citters..

  14. I suppose this disease is much more prevalent in warm Florida than in cold Maine. Or perhaps the “climate change” to which the article refers is some other consequence of global warming. Clarification is required.

    • I blame jets.
      If it wasn’t for that steward on a jet, HIV may never have reached the US.
      If it wasn’t someone else who was brain-dead, this “connection” would never have been a headline.

  15. People live in virtually every climate on earth, except the extremely cold. I remember Obama complaining that global warming’ was affecting his daughter’s asthma, all the while not recognizing that the climate of Hawaii is FAR warmer than Chicago or DC. Would moving her back to Hawaii constitute child endangerment?
    In most parts of the world, a move of a couple hundred miles away from the equator would be all that is needed to offset the existing ‘warmer’ climate. How on earth can report writers conflate climate with disease? Wouldn’t those diseases be rampant where it is slightly warmer?
    I’d say you can’t make this stuff up, but apparently, they can.

  16. ” Angiostrongyliasis is an infection of increasing public health importance as globalization contributes to the geographic spread of the disease.”
    ” Unwashed fruits and vegetables, especially romaine lettuce can be contaminated with snail and slug mucus or can result in accidental ingestion of these intermediate and paratenic hosts”

  17. These people who come up with new and “creative” ways to scare people about climate change really missed their calling in life. They should have moved to Hollywood and taken up work as creative writers. Heaven knows Hollywood has nothing on them.

  18. The propaganda from the alarmists is getting more shrill and illogical as quickly as their previous predictions fail to materialise. In my view they are getting desperate.

  19. Many people from the northern states and Canada retreat to warmer climes every winter. This is in spite of the fact that there are way more bugs in the south than in the north, especially in the winter. As far as I can tell they have fewer illnesses, if we count colds an flu, in the south than they would have if they stayed up north. I have not noticed any local obituaries for seniors who died while they were in Florida. I have seen lots of obits for seniors who died from influenza.

  20. > Experts are blaming its sudden spread across the United States on climate change and globalisation.

    We can do much to stop the negative effects of globalization. Somehow I suspect those suggestions are not being distributed with the climate change talking points memos.

  21. Rat Lungworm
    Primary host: Rats
    Intermediate hosts: Snails, slugs, other freshwater mollusks and crustaceans
    Life cycle: –> waterborne larva infect intermediate host, rat eats infected intermediate host, larva grow to adults in infected rat, adult worms release eggs, eggs leave primary host in feces, feces enters water, eggs hatch into waterborne larva –>

    So to have lots of rat lungworm, you need lots of rats and lots of freshwater. Where do you tend to find lots of rats? Places with poor sanitation. Where do you find lots of freshwater? The tropics. Do you live in a generally unsanitary tropical environment? If not, you’re exceedingly unlikely to get rat lungworms in your brain. And since those that do get inside the human body are effectively trapped and can’t complete their life cycle, barring brain-eating zombies or Hannibal Lecters the infected person can’t spread it to others.

    But no, cried the climate scientivists, it’s the Gore Bull Woe Mann what done it!

  22. Apparently, one variety of lettuce that the slugs like to live on is Romaine. Now, I finally, have a great reason to tell my wife I am not going to eat any more salads with Romaine! This is a gastronomic victory, wrapped in a very sad piece of news about the effects of globalization.

    • Thanks, now I also can tell my wife why I will not eat that stuff any longer. (old reason was I am not a #*%&@ rabbit)

    • seeing as most commercial lettuce crops are sprayed numerous times..I am amazed any slug or snail survive at all anyway
      youre at more risk from the chemicals than the slugs i reckon;-)
      still a reason to stop eating the salads if you dont want to.

  23. The problem with brain parasites, as far as my knowledge allows it, is that the brain has, or supposes to have, naturally, filters that do not allow such infections to reach the brain and it’s cellular structure…..and cause damage or brain fevers….

    If such parasites infect the brain it means that the brain at some point has lost the filters, maybe not entirely, and whether that is due to the parasite itself or some other prior condition, that will be very difficult to establish in any case, but the problem at that point will be very grave and life threatening…….also very complicated to asses…

    No any way to connect it to climate change , as far as this goes, because it is a very complicated problem….in the first place…..with many many variables to consider…


    • This is always the case with these infections. A 90-year-old man comes to the hospital because of a heart attack and dies from a lung inflammation. It is always a question of the defense and the overall status of the organism. Before you can say that tropical infections are overpowering, it is advisable first to look at the number of patients and secondly, the constitution of those who get these infections. When a new-born baby is born, it must withstand many billions of bacteria that it has never noticed before, and its immune system does not know much about it. Nevertheless, when looking at the cases in which well-fed and well-kept babies get sick, very few babies become ill. They do not get pneumonia, no blood-poisoning, and usually no flu before the first year. There are, therefore, mechanisms in man which, if they are healthy, can ward off these infections. This excessive defense against infectious diseases gradually loses the baby, so that after some time it also receives illnesses against which it was previously immune. However, this happens within the framework so that it always retains as much natural defenses as its stabilizing organism needs. Therefore, many vaccination series are also unnecessary for infants. It would be necessary to administer vaccination at a later date, e.g. As a youth.

    • I’ve heard it referred to as the blood-brain barrier. Unlike other organs which are surrounded by blood vessels, the brain gets its blood supply from only a handful of veins and arteries in the neck. This restricted access makes it very difficult for pathogens to get up there. But when one does manage to do so, immune cells have a hard time dealing with it, because they’re restricted by the same choke point.

  24. I’m an arborist, a “tree doctor” for my area and part of my work is to deal with insect and parasite populations. Treating infestations as a part of my work and to do this I must understand how insects live, reproduce and how they fit into the environment. Fact is that if there’s global warming then certainly insect populations will increase. But the kicker is that not only will the “bad” insects and parasites increase in number but so too will their predictors. The Warmists love to give the impression that only the baddies will increase but this is just a scare tactic, for as the globe slowly warms all populations will come to equilibrium and the malific ones will increase along side the beneficial ones.

  25. …Invasion of Brain Eating Parasites
    oh, I thought the article would be talking about Hansen, Mann, Algore, UEA etc

  26. It really is a hoot to someone with some knowledge about parasitology. As an SF medic and then later as an instructor I learned a great deal about this kind of stuff. More than your average physician and a lot about the more esoteric parasitic infections and presentations around this world. About 1/4 of the earths population suffers from Ascariasis. Tens of tons of eggs of Ascaris Lumbricoides (Giant round worm) are excreted in the feces of the infected population each year with over half of that being in China. My last team sergeant that had been on deep penetration missions in N. Vietnam was in Walter Reed Hospital for two months before they properly diagnosed his problem as fascioliasis or IOW an infection by Fasciola hepatica (liver Fluke). Then there are the atypical infections and presentation such as cysts from Taenia solium (pork tape worm) in the brain. And then there is Dracunculiasis which is like something out of the movie Aliens in which the worm encysts right under the skin and cannot be extracted by surgery because it’s body fluids are highly toxic. To get rid of it you have to incise to find the one end of the worm and use a popsicle stick turned 1/2 turn every day to gradually pull it out.

    And so consider that and sleep well.

    • Don’t forget about Naegleria fowleri and Vibrio vulnificus. (Don’t read about these if you tend to have irrational fear of anything)

  27. Rat lung worm is a problem on the island of Hawaii, and there have been more than 2 cases in the last decade. Symptoms range from nil to death depending on how many oocytes ingested and where they happen to wander. I don’t eat raw local greens, especially curly kale. Our catchment water is treated with chlorine, UV and filtered, and we bait slugs, snails, and rats. The oocytes are very tuff to kill so just washing your greens isn’t safe. Doesn’t have anything to do with climate change- it’s more the popularity of organic kale smoothies. Tomatoes and cucumbers make a fine salad. Aloha!

  28. Unless they can show from medical records an outbreak in 1934 (the hottest year in the Lower 58 states) I’m calling #FakeMedicine

  29. I think there’s a definitive link to climate change. Just look at folks like Nye and Mann. If their brains aren’t infected with rat lung worm, they’re infected with something else!

    • Beat me to it – you might even call it an epidemic infestation.
      Of course, since they seem to be feeding only on the Progressive eco-left, you’d think they’d starve to death.
      Of course, there’s a LOT of those eco-types out there, so it could take a while.

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