Monday, April 17, 2006

brain hijacked by parasites?

You may have noticed the phenomenon that sometimes, right before getting sick, one has a burst of energy. I had thought it might be the bodies way of preparing for downtime; esp., getting well fed. (Talking to others, they had the same thought).
However, after learning of the effects of certain parasites on their host's behaviour, I see another possibility. Eg., there is a parasite that that infects worms or catapillars, and causes them to climb to the top of grass stems, where they are more likely to be eaten by cattle, which are required for the completion of the parasite's life cycle. There is a parasite of mice that causes them to be attracted to cats, for the same reason.
So when we get that burst of energy just before getting sick, maybe it's the germs' way of keeping us up and about while we spread them to others. And/or maybe it's their way of getting us to get well-nourished so that they will benefit.

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