Killer Protists

Connor Tramel and Connor Salerno

Introduction

Protists are mostly single-celled organisms that can cause many serious illnesses that can become life threatening if not treated properly. Protists can be harmful when they are the cause of disease, but not all protists are harmful. Below are some of the harmful types of protists.

Amoeba

An amoeba is a parasite that can and has killed people. Some amoebas are even referred to as brain eating amoebas. These types of amoebas thrive in warm areas and especially lakes. Most amoebas get to the brain through the nose, and then use the brain as food.
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Malaria

Malaria is a type of protist disease that requires a mosquito to use as a vector. Malaria results in nearly 2 million deaths a year and most cases occur in Africa and South America. The protist lives inside the bloodstream, eventually clogging capillaries and destroying blood cells, which will lead to death if not treated properly.
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Dysentery

This type of protist disease is caused when food or water is contaminated with amoeba. Once the disease enters the body, it travels to the intestines where it settles. Dysentery will cause a very upset stomach and diarrhea. This can make you feel pretty sick for a few days.
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African sleeping sickness

Caused by the protist Trypanosoma Brucei, this disease starts off with just fevers and headaches. But after a while you will end up with mental confusion and a disruption in your sleeping cycle. It will also decrease your coordination and increase your fatigue. This disease is usually transmitted through the bite of the tsetse fly.
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