Doc­tors tie tap wa­ter in neti pot to woman’s death

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

SEAT­TLE — Doc­tors be­lieve a woman who died from rare brain- eat­ing amoe­bas used tap wa­ter to rinse her si­nuses.

The Seat­tle res­i­dent, 69, died in Fe­bru­ary af­ter un­der­go­ing brain surgery at Swedish Med­i­cal Cen­ter. Her doc­tor tells The Seat­tle Times there was “amoeba all over the place just eat­ing brain cells.”

Ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished in the In­ter­na­tional Jour­nal of In­fec­tious Dis­eases, doc­tors be­lieve the woman likely be­came in­fected when she used tap wa­ter in her neti pot, a teapot-like ves­sel used to flush out nasal pas­sages.

Health of­fi­cials sug­gest us­ing only dis­tilled, ster­ile or pre­vi­ously boiled wa­ter to rinse si­nuses. Tap wa­ter can con­tain tiny or­gan­isms that are safe to drink but could sur­vive in nasal pas­sages. Such in­fec­tions are rare. There were three sim­i­lar U.S. cases from 2008 to 2017.

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