Friday, 14 December, 2018

Doctors blame tap water in neti pot for brain-eating amoeba

Woman Uses Neti Pot, Ends Up With Brain-Eating Amoeba Neti pot Seattle death: Doctors issue warning after brain infection ki
Ben Pena | 08 December, 2018, 05:18

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.

The 69-year-old, whose name was not given, had a lingering sinus infection.

Rather than filling up the neti pot with saline or sterile water as is recommended she used tap water filtered through a store-bough filter, researchers found.

Tissue taken from the woman's brain during the procedure would later confirm the presence of the amoeba, specifically Balamuthia mandrillaris - which cause a rare but potentially deadly brain-eating infection known as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), according to the publication.

But how did the amoebas get in her brain in the first place? Doctors thought it was a rash and prescribed an antibiotic ointment, but that provided no relief. She arrived in the hospital's emergency room after suffering seizures. He took a sample and sent it for analysis. An initial CT scan revealed what doctors believed was a tumor. The mass was growing, and new lesions were starting to show up.

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

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rushed the anti-amoeba drug miltefosine to Seattle to try to save the woman's life, but she fell into a coma and died.

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The woman's brain infection went undiagnosed for so long because the type of amoeba she had was so uncommon and also moves very slowly, the Times stated.

The amoeba was discovered in 1986. Since then, more than 200 cases have been diagnosed worldwide, with at least 70 cases in the US, the CDC says.

As in the Seattle woman's case, the infections are "almost uniformly fatal", with a death rate of more than 89%, according to the doctors who treated her and the CDC. There were three similar USA cases from 2008 to 2017.

It's extremely important to use sterile saline or sterile water. Instead, distilled or sterile water should be used, or boiled and cooled water. "This precedent led us to suspect the same route of entry for the. amoeba in our case".

The team at Swedish Medical Center believe the woman was using a device called a neti pot to irrigate her sinuses, which likely introduced the amoeba into her system.

According to the Seattle Times, after contracting the amoebas, the 69-year-old developed a sore on her nose, which was misdiagnosed as rosacea, a common and treatable skin condition.

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