The US Food and Drug Administration has warned people to refrain from using unfiltered tap water for using neti pots, a popular home remedy for treating sinus infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that two people died in Louisiana after getting infected with brain eating amoeba from their tap water last year. Both of the victims, a 28-year old man and a 51-year old woman, were from different parts of the state and had used neti pots to irrigate their sinuses using tap water.
Neti pots resemble tiny tea pots with long snouts and are popularly used by people to clear their sinuses using a saline solution. The FDA has urged people not to use plain tap water which has not been filtered or treated in a specific way to clear any contamination of the amoeba, known as Naegleria fowleri.
"Some tap water contains low levels of organisms, such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas, which may be safe to swallow because stomach acid kills them. But these 'bugs' can stay alive in nasal passages and cause potentially serious infections", the FDA said in a statement.