Woman Uses Neti Pot, Ends Up With Brain-Eating Amoeba

Neti pot nightmare BRAIN-EATING amoebas from tap water attack elderly woman

Neti pot nightmare BRAIN-EATING amoebas from tap water attack elderly woman

A 69-year-old Seattle woman died in hospital after doctors discovered she had contracted brain-eating amoebas from using tap water in her neti pot. Tap water can contain tiny organisms that are safe to drink but could survive in nasal passages. An initial CT scan revealed what doctors believed was a tumor. She entered surgery the next day. Within a week, she was in a coma, and her family chose to take her off life support. It was microscopic amoebas that were feasting on her brain.

"When I operated on this lady, a section of her brain about the size of a golf ball was bloody mush", Dr. Charles Cobbs, neurosurgeon at Swedish told The Seattle Times.

The contaminated water went up the woman's nose "toward [the] olfactory nerves in the upper part of her nasal cavity", The Seattle Times reported, which ultimately caused the infection which first appeared as a red sore on her nose.

While this type of brain infection is rare, doctors are urging people to use sterile water any time they use a neti pot. The study was authored by Cobbs and others who worked on the woman's case. It's a simple contraption that can be purchased at major retailers across the US.

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"If you do use a neti pot. you should be very aware that it has to be absolute sterile water or sterile saline", Cobbs said, according to Q13 News.

Dr Cobbs continued: 'It's extremely important to use sterile saline or sterile water.

It is also acceptable to use a filter specifically created to trap potentially infectious organisms. There have only been around 200 reported cases of infection worldwide, although around 70 of those cases were in the US alone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, instead of using sterile water, she used tap water that had been run through a store-bought filter. In fact, her case of GAE is the first to be linked to the washing of the nasal cavity, according to Keenan Piper, a member of the Swedish team that produced the study. This amoeba was not even known 20 years ago hardly. It moves slowly and can take weeks or months to cause death. But they weren't able to test her tap water to confirm the Balamuthia mandrillaris amoebas were there.

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