CAN A NETI POT GIVE YOU A BRAIN-EATING AMOEBA?
A woman in Seattle acquired a rare and fatal brain-eating amoeba infection, which may have been due to improper use of a neti pot. The 69-year-old woman had been using a neti pot to rinse her sinuses, but filled it with nonsterile tap water instead of the recommended sterile water or saline solution. Soon, she developed a small rash on her nose that wouldn’t go away. Then, a year later, she had a seizure.
At first, doctors thought she had a brain tumor, but tests showed she was infected with an amoeba called Balamuthia mandrillaris. These infections are very rare, with about 70 cases reported in the U.S. since 1993. Doctors suspect the woman got the infection from the unsterilized tap water, which is why it’s important for those who try a neti pot to use sterile water or saline.
READY TO START YOUR MEDICAL CAREER?
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