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Using Tap Water in Neti Pots Leads to Fatal Brain Eating Amoeba Deaths

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on December 18, 2011 at 1:14 AM
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 Using Tap Water in Neti Pots Leads to Fatal Brain Eating Amoeba Deaths

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals have issued a warning against using tap water to irrigate nasal sinuses for fear that Naegleria fowleri (brain-eating amoeba) can cause a deadly neurological disease eventually causing death.

The health warning was issued following two fatal infections in the state due to this single celled organism.


This micro-organism lives in warm fresh water and does not cause any harm if one drinks this water. However, if nasal-irrigation pots (neti pots) are used to irrigate the sinuses with this tap water then the amoeba attacks the nervous system.

Symptoms like alteration in the taste, headache, fever, nausea, neck rigidity, vomiting, confusion and hallucinations; and seizures can be seen within 1-14 days post exposure. The infection destroys neural tissue, killing the victim within few days. The survival rate is as low as 2%.

Louisiana State Epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard said, "If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, for example, by using a neti pot, use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution."

Source: Medindia

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