Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Woman dies from rare brain-eating disease after using neti pot

Woman Uses Neti Pot, Ends Up With Brain-Eating Amoeba Neti pot Seattle death: Doctors issue warning after brain infection ki
Johnnie Parks | 08 December, 2018, 05:20

It can kill within days, not months, according to the Seattle Times.

In addition, images from brain scans may resemble other conditions that are more common, including tumors and bacterial infections, the authors wrote. "I think she was using (tap) water that had been through a water filter and had been doing that for about a year previously". She underwent surgery at Seattle's Swedish Medical Center to remove what lead neurosurgeon Charles Cobbs thought was a brain tumor, the study said.

"Improper nasal irrigation has been reported as a method of infection for the comparably insidious amoeba", the doctors say in the research paper about the Seattle woman. So, he just took a sample and sent it to neuropathologists at Johns Hopkins University for further analysis.

The woman's condition quickly deteriorated.

Tissue taken from the woman's brain during the procedure would later confirm the presence of the amoeba, specifically Balamuthia mandrillaris - which cause a rare but potentially deadly brain-eating infection known as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), according to the publication. "We didn't have any clue what was going on, but when we got the actual tissue we could see it was the amoeba", Cobbs added.

Past year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also issued a warning that improper use of Neti pots and other nasal irrigation systems could lead to risky infections, including one with a brain-eating amoeba. "There were these amoeba all over the place just eating brain cells". According to the CDC, the amoeba was discovered in 1986 and officially declared a new species in 1993.

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You can't get the infection from drinking contaminated water or swimming in a properly chlorinated pool, and it hasn't been shown to spread through vapor from a hot shower or humidifier, according to the CDC.

Such infections are very rare. That said, the woman's case was rare; there were only three similar cases in the USA from 2008 to 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2011, Louisiana health officials warned residents not to use nonsterilized tap water in neti pots after the deaths of two people who were exposed to Naegleria fowleri while flushing their nasal passages.

But while this type of brain infection is rare, doctors are urging people to use sterile water any time they use a neti pot.

Unlike N. fowleri, B. mandrillaris is much more hard to detect, according to the report.

The woman had been prescribed a neti pot to flush out her nasal cavity because she had a sinus infection, per a case report published in International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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