Brain-eating amoeba may have come from neti pot

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The woman, a Swedish Medical Center patient, likely contracted the brain-eating amoeba from the water in her nasal rinse, Swedish doctors said.

The contaminated water went up the woman's nose "toward [the] olfactory nerves in the upper part of her nasal cavity", The Seattle Times reported, which ultimately caused the infection which first appeared as a red sore on her nose.

A Swedish Medical Center report on the woman's death says there are about 200 cases worldwide of this particular amoebic infection. After experiencing an intense seizure and an apparent loss of brain cognition, doctors started to investigate the possibility of the problem being in her brain.

After she died, doctors determined the specific infection had been caused by an amoeba called Balamuthia mandrillaris.

Researchers found that the single-celled organisms likely infected the woman's brain through her nasal cavity by way of a neti pot, a teapot shaped product used to rinse out the sinuses, about a year earlier. So, he just took a sample and sent it to neuropathologists at Johns Hopkins University for further analysis. But the woman's condition was deteriorating.

Surgeon Dr Charles Cobbs operated and removed a dime-sized tumor.

"We didn't have any clue what was going on", he added.

"According to the doctors who treated the woman, the non-sterile water that she used it thought to have contained Balamuthia mandrillaris, ï"¿an amoeba that over the course of weeks to months can cause a very rare and nearly always fatal infection in the brain. "I was pretty much shocked because I'd never seen that before", Cobbs told KIRO-TV.

A woman who met a tragic fate after routinely rinsing out her sinuses is thought to have died because she put tap water in her neti pot. The CDC says it's possible that the amoeba may also live in water.

After using the prescribed neti pot for a month, she developed a rash near her nose, which was misdiagnosed as rosacea.

A person can not get infected from swallowing water contaminated with it, and it can not pass from person to person.

Such infections are very rare.

The doctor and his colleagues believe the woman may have used a common plastic device called a neti pot, which lets users irrigate their sinuses by flushing water through it. Since 1993, the CDC says, there have been at least 70 cases in the United States.

The case report notes that GAE is rare and the CDC described it as a "very rare disease that is usually fatal". Now a case study recently published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases has shed light on how the amoeba entered her brain.

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