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Balamuthia Mandrillaris

We live in a society where it pays to be exceptional at what it is one does, whether borne of natural talent, intellect, or fleeting trends and public opinion. You have excelled in what it is you do in the biological realm, captivating the brightest minds in the sciences by limiting your activities to that which might be considered rare. You have left your mark in the study of human infectious diseases- the Centers for Disease Control have experimental protocols for exploring your biological imperatives. Your “success” rate in your field is over 95% and worthy of notice. In fact, it may not even be known how far the reaches of your work extend: as predictions go, it is likely that some of it has not only gone unrecognized but has been attributed to others. A shame for more reasons than the obvious. The accolades and praise should be showering down on you given how well you perform.

Your operations in the natural world have come at a cost to many, however. You have silently invaded, occupied and overtaken; your drive to survive has extinguished the brightest flames. You have irreparably changed the lives of many, too many to count. You have left behind a trail of broken hearts and spirits. You have taken sons and daughters, left husbands without wives and children without parents. And you show no signs of slowing down- your business of remaining relevant on this planet seems to have concentrated itself in a localized area of Southern California or, rather, effected change in the lives of several individual people in a specific location. Coincidental or not, exceptional or not, you are killing people.

Your name is Balamuthia mandrillaris. A relatively simple organism by life science standards, you occasionally find a home in which you become destructive, irreversibly damaging neurological function in your host.

You are a parasite that moves without detection among us. You cannot carry on under the radar any longer, for you are too good at what you do