According to a case study published in International Journal of Infectious Diseases, A Seattle woman died of a brain-eating amoeba after using a neti pot incorrectly. The survey describes that the 69-year-old woman turned to a net pot to help relieve the symptoms of a chronic sinus infection. But instead of using sterile or saline in its net pot, as directed, the woman used the water tap that was run through her water filter.
If you are not in the knowledge of net potatoes, they are almost small teaspoons that you fill with warm water, add the salt and when the salt dissolves, flip your head and pour the pot into a nostrils to allow water to cleanse your nose passages and get out on the other side. This is called nasal irrigation or nasal lavage, and can help relieve congestion or other sinus problems. However, because this water flows through the delicate membranes around your brain, neti pot makers (and FDAs) only advise using boiled or distilled water for nasal watering to avoid the risk of accidentally being exposed to dangerous bacteria. In this case, exactly what happened: the woman used filtered water from the water, but was still exposed to an amoeba that attacked her brain's tissues.
"After a month of using non-sterile water for nasal lavage without success, she developed a quarter-sized red-rash rash on the right side of the bridge of the nose and the red red skin at the nose opening which was considered to be rosacea, "the survey reported. A year later, the woman has a seizure, and subsequent brain scan revealed a "ring-increasing lesion in the motor cortex on the right side of the brain."
During a brain biopsy to determine the cause of brain injuries, doctors discovered some worrying, which was eventually diagnosed as a brain-eating amoeba. "When I was driving this lady, her brain was about the size of a golf ball bloody mush," says Charles Cobbs, a neurosurgeon at Seattle's Swedish Medical Center. Seattle Times. "There were these amoeba everywhere, where they only ate brain cells. We had no idea what was going on, but when we got the actual tissue, we could see it was amoeba."
Case Study in International Journal of Infectious Diseases reported that it is not crucial that the neti pot is due, and the hypothesis was formulated based on the history of the woman using the nasal water. The water in her home was not tested for amoeba.
If you did not know that boiled water or sterile water is recommended for nasal irrigation systems, you are not alone. (I used water from water in my net pot yesterday.) Boiling water and then let it cool off or using just opened distilled water is generally the best practice to use these pots. However, you must add the saline solution or the salt to the water before using it; as Atlantic Reported, this is not only because unsalted water will irritate your nose, but a salty environment also inhibits the growth of dangerous bacteria.
Before swearing off the net of the pot, it is important to know that this kind of bacterial infection is extremely rare; according to Times, it is only the second reported case of this type of brain-eating amoeba in Seattle and the first death. In total, 109 cases have been reported in the US between 1974 and 2016, but most cases are believed to be due to exposure to soil infected with amoeba known as balamuthia mandrillaris, not from neti pots, according to a report published in September in the journal Clinical infectious diseases. While this story is disturbing, if you use your neti pot as stated, just be fine.