Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

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

Melissa Porter | 08 December, 2018, 05:16

So, in an attempt to give the 69-year-old Seattle woman some relief, doctors recommended that she use a neti pot regularly to rinse out her sinuses. The CDC found evidence of the amoeba in both the woman's brain tissue and tissue from the rash on her nose, Cobbs said.

Swedish Medical Center didn't identify the patient who died just a month after being diagnosed.

The neurosurgeon, Dr. Charles Cobbs, operated on the 69-year-old woman last January. She'd experienced a seizure that weakened her left arm.

But when Cobbs operated to remove the mass, "it was just dead brain tissue", making it hard to determine what it actually was. During surgery at John Hopkins Hospital to remove the lesions, doctors ultimately determined she had an "amoebic infection".

"He thought it looked suspicious for amoeba infection".

"It's so exceedingly rare that I'd never heard of it", Cobbs said. But the woman's condition was deteriorating.

Per the CDC, "Initial symptoms of PAM start about 5 days (range 1 to 9 days) after infection". The CDC says it's possible that the amoeba may also live in water.

Even though such infections are very rare, there were three similar USA cases from 2008 to 2017.

People can't be infected by simply swallowing water contaminated with amoebas. Infection can only occur when infected water goes up the nose.

"If you do use a neti pot. you should be very aware that it has to be absolute sterile water or sterile saline", Cobbs said, according to Q13 News.

In 2011, Louisiana health officials warned residents not to use nonsterilized tap water in neti pots after the deaths of two people who were exposed to Naegleria fowleri while flushing their nasal passages. She had been using water that had been put through a filter and maybe it had been sitting there and somehow the amoeba from somewhere else got in there. "There's been about 200 cases worldwide", Dr. Cobbs said.

The case is the second-ever reported in Seattle - the first was in 2013.

First, she developed a raised, red sore on the bridge of her nose.

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.

"It's not something to be scared about because it's extraordinarily rare, but still there's a lot to learn", Cobbs said.

In this case, doctors pointed to the neti pot the woman had been using to clear up her sinuses.

Prepare the saline rinse, either with the prepared mixture supplied with the device, or one you make yourself.

Wash the device, and dry the inside with a paper towel or let it air dry between uses. However, parents should consult with their pediatrician before use on children.