A Seattle woman died of an infection after using her neti pot

An MRI of the Seattle woman’s brain in February 2018 shows severe hemorrhaging. “It’s such an incredibly uncommon disease it was not on anyone’s radar that this initial nose sore would be related to her brain,” said Keenan Piper a researcher fro

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

Previous 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 unsafe infections, including one with a brain-eating amoeba.

A Swedish Medical Center report on the woman's death says there are about 200 cases worldwide of this particular amoebic infection.

But how did the amoebas get in her brain in the first place? The report states she used tap water that had been filtered by a Brita water purifier.

In the case report, the doctors said there was evidence of amoeba infection from neti pots before, but that they did not test the water their patients had been using, and so they could not be sure.

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

After she died, doctors determined the specific infection had been caused by an amoeba called Balamuthia mandrillaris.

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Unlike N. fowleri, B. mandrillaris is much more hard to detect, according to the report. Ninety percent of those cases were fatal. In 1990, researchers first became aware that this type of amoeba can cause disease in people, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in November.

Normally, an extra effort is required to bring on an infection; it can not be contracted by drinking contaminated water.

The amoeba is similar to Naegleria fowleri, which has been the culprit in several high-profile cases.

Eventually she reportedly developed a rash on her nose and raw skin near her nostrils, which was misdiagnosed as rosacea, a skin condition. They got worse and worse over a year, until she had a seizure - and doctors discovered the amoebas chewing away at her brain. Although the risk of infection to the brain is extremely low, people who use neti pots or other nasal-irrigation devices can almost eliminate it by following directions printed on the devices, including using only saline or sterilized water, Maree said. Repeat CT imaging demonstrated further haemorrhage into the original resection cavity. The study was authored by Cobbs and others who worked on the woman's case. Within a week, she was in a coma, and her family chose to take her off life support. An official urged users to fill the pots only with distilled, sterile or previously boiled water, and to rinse and dry them after each use.

As reported in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the story began when a Seattle-based woman visited the doctors with a nasty chronic sinus infection.

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