Seattle woman dies after contracting rare form of brain-eating amoeba

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

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

As such, when the 69-year-old shot the tap water up her nasal cavity, she essentially injected the brain-eating infection known as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE).

A woman who was told by her doctor to rinse her sinuses twice daily to clear up a chronic sinus infection died from a brain-eating amoeba.

Doctors came across something they never suspected while carrying out brain surgery on a 69-year-old woman in the USA: a slushy mess of dead brain tissue.

But after performing brain surgery and taking a tissue sample, they realized she actually had a rare amoeba called Balamuthia mandrillaris.

'We didn't have any clue what was going on, but when we got the actual tissue, we could see it was the amoeba'.

Dr Cobbs told the Seattle Times: 'There were these amoebas all over the place just eating brain cells.

According to a study recently 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. Tap water can contain tiny organisms that are safe to drink but could survive in nasal passages.

As reported by the Seattle Times, a woman was admitted to a local hospital's emergency department after suffering a seizure in January.

The amoeba is a single-cell organism that can cause fatal disease in humans and lives in warm soil and water. It's extremely important to use sterile saline or sterile water.

After a month of clearing her sinuses with the non-sterile water, a quarter-sized red rash appeared on the right side of her nose.

In order to prevent any risk of infection, people should always read the instructions on a neti pot and only use saline or sterile water. Doctors gave her the medicine (and a cocktail of other anti-infection drugs), but she continued to get worse, according to the report. "I think she was using water that had been through a water filter and had been doing that for about a year previously", Dr. Cobb said. Upon further investigation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention subsequently chose to test the water at a Texas surf resort he visited before getting sick.

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