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Two dead in Louisiana after unclean water used in neti pots
December 16th, 2011
07:24 PM ET

Two dead in Louisiana after unclean water used in neti pots

Louisiana health officials are warning residents not to use nonsterilized tap water in neti pots after the deaths of two people who exposed their brains to a deadly amoeba while flushing out their nasal passages.

The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, can be found in lakes and ponds as well as in contaminated lukewarm tap water. The organism doesn't pose a threat when ingested, but if it becomes lodged in a person's nose it can end up in the brain and cause an infection.

The infection, lethal in 95% of cases, triggers an array of symptoms that resemble those of bacterial meningitis, including vomiting, headaches and sleepiness. As it progresses, it can cause changes in a person’s behavior and lead to confusion and hallucinations. It usually causes death within one to 12 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued its warning after a 51-year-old woman in DeSoto Parish died after rinsing her sinuses with a neti pot, a small vessel used to pour warm water into one nostril and out the other. Earlier this year, a 20-year-old man near New Orleans died after contracting the infection in the same way.

Health.com: 10 states where rare and exotic diseases lurk

"Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose," said Dr. Raoult Ratard, Louisiana state epidemiologist in a statement. Ratard urged neti-pot users to fill the pots only with distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water, and to rinse and dry them after each use.

Health.com: Nasal washing sounds gross, but it works

The infection, known as primary amebic meningoencephalitis, is extremely rare. In the previous decade, just 32 cases have been reported in the United States, according to the CDC. Only one person is known to have survived.

Health.com: Is it a cold—or sinus infection?

Deaths involving neti pots are even more rare. Most deaths from the amoeba, including three last summer, occur in Southern states during the summer, when people swim in warm freshwater where Naegleria fowleri lurks.

Madison Park contributed to this report. 

Copyright Health Magazine 2011

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Filed under: Cold and flu • Health.com

soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. read the instructions

    the instructions on the saline packs that we use says use distilled water. @ less than a dollar a gal, why use tap water?

    December 17, 2011 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • HEIDI

      Grandparents are the ones that generally use a neti pot, so lets make sure they know this... I read about this amoeba, remember the story about 3 people who swam in stale water...in Florida? Also the penguins who died on the beaches of a huge lake...wow. We got to be careful... Who really knew, but now we do, right?

      December 17, 2011 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
    • DP

      Neti pot use is only comfortable with the right temperature of water. It's hard to get a gallon of distilled water to body temperature. I'll be digging the baby bottle warmer out of storage for sure now, though.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • Adam614

      For what it's worth, I just bought a neti pot from the grocery pharmacy, and it says unambigously to use LUKEWARM TAP WATER. Nowhere on the packaging does it even suggest you might want to use distilled water... I'm guessing they're gonna rethink those instructions pretty soon.

      December 17, 2011 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • see through the illusion

      This article is another example of how lamestream media slants the facts to make people afraid of just about anything! And the sad reality is people buy it hook, line and sinker!

      Read this article again and notice that there is no question about why the quality of the tap water contains these impurities and garbage! It seems like this is perfectly natural and okay. They make it look like using a neti pot is dangerous, which in and of itself is not. The real problem here is the quality of the tap water that the state, city or county governments deem as "safe"!

      So, if you use a neti pot, which I do from time to time, follow the instructions, and usea sea salt saline and properly heat your water (and then let it cool if necessary) and you won't have any problems!

      Now, let's see an article one WHY GOVERNMENTS ALLOW DIRTY CONTAMINATED WATER IN OUR TAPS!!!

      December 17, 2011 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
    • karenwhite

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      December 17, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • Me

      I would never dream of using tap water for my neti pot. Especially given how much chlorine is used in the municipal water supply. Burn baby burn!

      December 17, 2011 at 17:51 | Report abuse |
    • Tad Pole

      @see_through_the_illusion: I was wondering what sort of water has those pathegen in it... but, it is unarguably the netipot that helped them get up into the nasal passage.

      December 17, 2011 at 19:03 | Report abuse |
  2. Chris R

    All tap water has bacteria and other contaminants in it. However, so does all of the bottled water you can fine (and usually at higher levels). This is because the level of chlorine you would need to add to the water to kill all the bacteria would render it toxic to people as well. Sand filtration, UV sterilizations, chlorination, and so forth all help to bring bacteria and protozoa down to safe levels *but* the water coming out of your pipes is *NOT* sterile. Do not put it *deep* inside of your nasal passages.

    December 17, 2011 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • svann

      Thats baloney. Bottled water is cleaner and has less particulates than tap. Sure the government regulations are stricter for tap, but bottled water exceeds government regluations by so much that that is irrelevant. If you want to dissuade people from drinking bottled water there are other reasons you can use where you dont have to lie about it.

      December 17, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • CynicalOne

      A lot of bottled water is simply bottled tap water. Think of that when you pay $1.50 for a little bottle of Dasani.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • Not In My Nose You Don't

      The advice is to use DISTILLED water, not simply bottled water.

      All the same, I'd never sluice any fluids through my precious nasal passages. Some places just weren't meant to be hosed out.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • monah

      There is a big difference between bottled water and distilled water. I use a CPAP and was told to always use DISTILLED water, not tap water and not bottled water.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • Dr ruth..

      at CynicalOne:

      Bottle water is mostly water purify by reverse osmosis, The coca-cola guy was saying we filter our water five times..(That was after they were caught selling purify water for artesian well water) he was referring to reverse osmosis five stages.

      December 17, 2011 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • Tad Pole

      SVANN, bottled water is not cleaner than tap, and it doesn't have to be in many states (according to the law). Benoquoi (excuse my poor spelling) is a product of coke-a-cola, and is simply regular tap water with minerals and carbonation added to it. The water is taken directly form whereever the bottling plant is.

      December 17, 2011 at 19:05 | Report abuse |
  3. Boom

    Get a big berkey filter system. Problem solved.

    December 17, 2011 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • airmike

      This filter system should flush my sinuses out really well....I'll try it and report back later.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Wow, you're right! I hooked that filter right to my shnoz and presto. I've since started to use the filter directly on other orifices as well, with good results, thanks!

      December 17, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Sitnalta

      The filtration system need to make tap water sterile would be tens of thousands of dollars, with filters costing around $500 each. Plus you would need a separate de-ionizer system because the finer filters would get clogged with lime and rust. Then you would need a system to put minerals back into the water because drinking deionized water will leech minerals from your body.

      December 17, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • coyote123

      Whatwhatwhat....LOL!!!!!!

      December 17, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
  4. Crassman

    Now I'm freaked out. I use that thing to give myself an enema.

    December 17, 2011 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Be Safe

      Quick, call the Roto-Rooter man and away will go your troubles down the drain!

      December 17, 2011 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
    • HEIDI

      this type of amoeba feeds on the brain...it will not get to your brain, don't worry....

      December 17, 2011 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
    • mshawaii

      lol

      December 17, 2011 at 10:18 | Report abuse |
    • Tyokol

      ...Heidi, maybe his brain is connected directly to his rectum. He should seek emergency help!

      December 17, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • Gene

      I guess it depends on where your brain is.

      December 17, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • csam18

      Hahahahaha! That gave me a good morning laugh :).

      December 17, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse |
  5. Meesha

    The over-reaction to this article on part of some of the commenters is a pathetic commentary as to our society's lack of perspective...either that or its poor collective reading comprehension skills. Did no one notice from the article that in the preceding 10 years there have only been 32 reported cases of N. fowleri? We live in a country of approximately 300 million people, and (as per the CDC's last report on waterborne disease outbreaks from drinking water sources), there were only 36 outbreaks in the US (states and territories) resulting in only 4,128 illnesses and 3 deaths over a two year period (2007 and 2008). If you want to be concerned about the likeness of an untimely death, during that same time period over 78,000 people in the US were killed in auto accidents. Perhaps this misplaced emotion would be better directed at resolving one's poor driving habits over the (medically advisable by any decent ENT) practice of irrigating one's sinuses to alleviate chronic sinus and allergy problems?

    December 17, 2011 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Norm

      Well La Dee freak'n Da....
      Thank you for blessing us with your vast statistical knowledge Dr. Meeeeeesha...

      December 17, 2011 at 10:00 | Report abuse |
    • Joe D'

      Bad data... you need to calculate how many/what % of people are affected OF THOSE WHO USE NETI POTS... not the total population of 300M+ citizens. "There are liars... damned liars... and then there are statistics."

      December 17, 2011 at 10:04 | Report abuse |
    • Tyokol

      ...so, don't drive and rinse your nostrils with tap water?

      December 17, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
    • FactChecker

      Goe D: I agree. And even more, there are a lot of other types of infections. The odds of getting an infection is much higher than the odds of getting this specific infection. It's just a bad idea to flush nasal pasages with water that was processed for drinking. After all, you can eat live grasshopperswithout harm but you don't want to shove them up your nose.

      December 17, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  6. Meesha

    ...and perhaps some common sense in reading the directions of the Neti pot, or just using sterile water when recommended in general wouldn't be amiss.

    December 17, 2011 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dude

      My neti pot instructions say to use "lukewarm tap water"

      December 17, 2011 at 09:46 | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      My doctor told me to use bottled water and just warm it up in the microwave.

      December 17, 2011 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Dude – maybe you got a "Naegleria" pot instead of a "Neti" pot? Check the instructions again, man.

      December 17, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
  7. aacon

    WHEEEEEW ! Thank God this wasn`t about marijuana ! Was freaking worried when sew headlines.

    December 17, 2011 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mshawaii

      That is funny...

      December 17, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse |
    • Not In My Nose You Don't

      Me, too. I use bong water in my neti pot.

      December 17, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • CJ FULLER

      OMFG!!!!

      December 17, 2011 at 16:09 | Report abuse |
  8. Fredo

    I am a longtime Neti Pot user as well, although have fallen out of the habit now for a little while. I have to admit, I use unfiltered tap water as well. But will do so no longer! So what's the deal? If you boil the tap water and let it cool there will be no more posibility of bacteria?

    December 17, 2011 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • smegal

      Yes, Frodo, but make sure to use the water straight from the stove!

      December 17, 2011 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
  9. Ruth

    I use distilled water only and then warm it.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Little Hippo

    this is what happens when you do not follow directions.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jonny

    So It was the contaminated water NOT the nettie pot.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. mshawaii

    Well, sounds like the water system in Louisiana is still dirty from the Katrina mess.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      Don't kid yourself, those systems haven't been updated since the civil war. Katrina, that's funny.

      December 17, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  13. Darisse Smith

    We certainly are on our high horses, aren't we? I always use tap water for my neti pot, thinking that using distilled water is overkill. I guess I thought that deadly amoebas wouldn't be lurking in the water that I also drink. Now if these people were using tepid lakewater to use their neti pot, I can villanizing them. For those of you who always use the instructions, you must never leave the comfort of your shower when you shampoo: Wet. Lather, Rinse. Repeat?

    December 17, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Colin

      yeah, I've been in the shower for the past 4 hours. Can you go get me a new bottle of shampoo? When do I switch to conditioner?

      December 17, 2011 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
  14. Colin

    I read the instructions the first time I used a Neti Pot. So when I clicked on this article and read "Louisiana" and "unclean water," I realized that there was no need to worry about the continued use of my Neti Pot. There's no news here people, just stupidity.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jimh77

    CNN, why are you not reporting the E.Coli and Salmonella outbreaks in Ground Beedf? Been over a week now and you have yet to report on it. over 20 states effected, not big enough news story?

    December 17, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JR

      What the hell is Ground Beedf??

      December 17, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
  16. Trigster

    This threat of brain eating amoeba is clearly proof that we need to invade Iran. – GW Bush

    December 17, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • victim of democrat hypocrisy

      Wow, how relevant and timely.
      Moron.

      December 17, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
  17. michael

    good article

    December 17, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. CitizenJP

    Some people call "neti" as gross. I wonder they will stop excreting just because they think it is gross. I think what is really gross is not cleaning the nasal passage.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Portland tony

    Some of you that use sinus irrigation neti pots don't have to worry about brain eating amoeba. You'd have to use a different body cavity to get to your brain based on some of the comments made.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Common Sense

    Attack of the brain eating amebas

    December 17, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Not In My Nose You Don't

    You neti potters wouldn't have this problem if you used vodka instead of tap water.

    December 17, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CJ FULLER

      Because in Soviet Russia neti pot clean itself with you.......

      December 17, 2011 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
  22. monah

    I have allergies and use an OTC sterilized saline nasal spray. It is safe, effective, and inexpensive.

    December 17, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Linda

      the sprays only moisturize the nasal cavities, they don't flush out anything. Neti pots are great for rinsing out allergens.

      December 17, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
    • monah

      Linda, Simply Saline helps with irrigation as well. It also remains sterile throughout use. A warm shower also helps open up the sinuses and is safer than using a neti pot.

      December 17, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
  23. Steve

    Will this cause the Zombie Apoclypse?

    December 17, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sam I. Am

      I hope so... my Sunday nights are boring now that "The Walking Dead" is on hiatus until February!

      December 17, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
  24. Adam614

    The story here isn't how unsafe neti pots are, it's how disgusting Louisiana tap water is. But hey, when the South refuses to assess state taxes to pay for simple public services (like working water treatment plants), and you yell at the federal government for trying to help you, these things will happen. I'm surprised the free market didn't filter out the brain-eating amoebas; down with the nanny state!!!!11

    December 17, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr ruth..

      Exactly right,, deregulate they say, deregulate..!!

      deregulation keeps standards very low.. Prices are low, but the quality is not there..

      December 17, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
  25. IronCelt

    If I boil water for 5 minutes in my hot pot, it takes 2 hours, 10 minutes, for it to cool to 100 degrees when the ambient temperature is 66, which equals still more inconvenience for chronic sinus sufferers.

    December 17, 2011 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric Roberts

      Or you can boil the water ahead of time and store it in gallon jugs...that isn't much of an inconvenience. If you boil it, it kills any bacteria, viruses, and protozoans that can harm you. Most place don't have to worry about it, but this is something that would be a concern in the south (and is a know issue in southern waterways) if they don't chlorinate the water properly and kill all these critters before it gets to your faucet. I wouldn't even say it is a matter of Louisiana water being dirty (not saying that it is clean either...I lived there for 8 years and did see some nasty stuff...) but it's more of a matter of the environment. The warmer, semi-tropical environment has a lot of critters like this in it. Colder water in the north don't have as much in te way of microscopic flora and fauna and most areas outside of rural areas have municipal water which is sterilized using chlorine and chlorates.

      December 17, 2011 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
  26. missfigge

    People, take this seriously. This happened to my father a year ago. I found him in his room choking on his vomit, disoriented (like a person who had lost his brain, had no idea how to speak, who I was, or anything)... and it was because of the Neilmed. He used it too frequently. The infection ate through the thin membrane in his sinus and went in to his brain. Thankfully they were able to save his life... it was so frightening. Please be careful with these things. They work, but you must sanitize it!

    December 17, 2011 at 13:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Adam

      Link to the article about this – it would have been in the news. Otherwise, not likely to be true.

      December 17, 2011 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  27. Keyser

    Hmmm, Neti Pot. I am just using regular pot.

    December 17, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Richard

    Quack "alternative medicine" claims more victims for Darwin.

    December 17, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Linda

      yea, because FDA approved meds have never claimed any lives *rolls eyes*

      December 17, 2011 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Modern medicine has saved millions more than it has hurt. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that.

      December 17, 2011 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
  29. see through the illusion

    This article is another example of how lamestream media slants the facts to make people afraid of just about anything! And the sad reality is people buy it hook, line and sinker!

    Read this article again and notice that there is no question about why the quality of the tap water contains these impurities and garbage! It seems like this is perfectly natural and okay. They make it look like using a neti pot is dangerous, which in and of itself is not. The real problem here is the quality of the tap water that the state, city or county governments deem as "safe"!

    So, if you use a neti pot, which I do from time to time, follow the instructions, and usea sea salt saline and properly heat your water (and then let it cool if necessary) and you won't have any problems!

    Now, let's see an article one WHY GOVERNMENTS ALLOW DIRTY CONTAMINATED WATER IN OUR TAPS!!!

    December 17, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Judd

      Exactly. I've always mixed microwaved tap water with cold water from the Brita filter in the neti pot. In addition, I live in a large East Coast city, not the southern part of the country where they're obviously allowing filth in the water...and 2 out of millions of people? I'm dubious about this story.

      December 17, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse |
  30. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Um...how the F*** did it get into the tap water???????????? Obviously it's not safe for showering if they're warning against it getting into your nose!

    December 17, 2011 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    One word, people: Dristan.

    These are the same backwards-a$$ people who think candling to get rid of ear wax is a good idea.

    December 17, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maj. A. Hohl

      Wow, Dristan!

      ...what's the weather like back in the 1960s?

      You still smoking Pall Malls and using Wildroot, too?

      December 17, 2011 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
    • Brett Husebye

      I had a friend in Iowa and I changed his life. He was practically deaf and I was getting tired of shouting at him. I looked at his ears and found they were all the way full of wax. And said you need to get some QTips or go to the doctor. His parents didnt know to clean out his ears. I mean who the heck goes around with ear wax for 12 years? Um okay. He got it taken care of and he was embarrased but it turned his whole life around and he was a shooting star after that. So anything you can do to get rid of it is better then running around DEAF.

      December 17, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • Sam I. Am

      I don't know what other medical claims might be made by this practice, but whenever I have a bad head cold, nasal rinsing certainly helps clear congestion. Heated warm salty water, or in the shower. Even just breathing steam from soup or water also helps. Try reading the link in the article: "Health.com: Nasal washing sounds gross, but it works"

      I would rather do this than put Oxymetazoline hydrochloride up my nose!

      December 17, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
  32. Al

    Wow, beware! Next thing you know, Al-Qaeda will be giving away free neti pots on street corners.

    December 17, 2011 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Judd

    This is water from the SOUTH. If you live in the NE part of the country, you're fine.

    December 17, 2011 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Think again

      Do you have any idea how many people in the NE are on well water? A lot of big Maryland towns are served by municipal well water systems, and lot of residences still have their own wells.

      December 18, 2011 at 02:20 | Report abuse |
  34. skeptical

    Regardless of whether the victims followed the directions correctly or not, shouldn't it me concerning that our tap water contains things that can kill us if they make it into the wrong orifice?

    December 17, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Bear

    BOIL the darn water and let it cool – it's not rocket science

    December 17, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Captain Slappaho

    Hey Mawww, git the engine out the tub, I'm hankering fer a bath. Hill Billies! Gotta love em'

    December 17, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. cpm23

    I've never commented before on anything, but I cannot stand reading all of these posts from people "skeptical" or "seeing through the illusion" regarding the safety of their drinking water. Either these people should research what Naegleria fowleri is and realize the fact that it's 1. Not a bacteria, it's a free-living amoeba. 2. These types of amoeba can come in cysts or trophozoites and typically in very small concentration in the water and may survive some levels of chlorination. 3. N. Fowleri typically will fatally infect an individual if it's directly put/gets into the nasal passage where it then will pass through the cribiform plate into the brain and CSF. The typical presentation of a patient with N. Fowleri is that of meningitis w/ CSF values that mimic a bacterial meningitis, but culture is unremarkable for bacterial presence. By the time one realizes that this is Naegleria, the patient has likely died. Even if one does diagnose this prior to the death, we don't have much to treat such an aggressive and rapid course. Two patients that have survived were given intrathecal amphotericin B. That doesn't give much for physicians to work with. How about instead of questioning the safety of drinking water, we examine the safety of netipots as compared to allopathic treatment and symptom management? That sounds more reasonable.

    December 17, 2011 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric Roberts

      No it would be more sensible to question the safety of drinking water supplies. If there is a potential for a protozoan that can kill you to be present in your tap water, then you would think that you would want to be notified of this so you can take precautions. People use tap water in other ways that could expose their nostrils to the water other than neti pots. Washing your face and breathing the water in could also introduce contaminants into your sinuses, so should we look into the safety of washing your face too? Seriously? Neti pots are perfectly safe. If you live in an area where this is a possibility, then you shouldn't use tap water without boiling it first. Simple precaution.

      December 17, 2011 at 17:00 | Report abuse |
    • see through the illusion

      I'm sorry, but you've got it backwards! If the tap water was safe and contained no contaminations (such as ameobas) this situation woud not exist! The neti pot is a ceramic vessel. If you put clean water in it, it is perfectly safe! It's not rocket science!

      If there are water filtration systems that people can purchase to eliminate virtually any contamination, why don't the cities use them? Some would say it costs too much! Since we pay our local governments thousands an thousands of dollars in tax money every year, why should they not spend it on this type of health care and disease prevention? It's up to the people to demand how they want their tax dollars used.

      You wouldn't happen to work for the water company, would you?! Just wondering...

      December 17, 2011 at 19:39 | Report abuse |
  38. Brett Husebye

    I use a neti pot when my sinuses are dried out from the winter time and when my sinuses become infected from the winter time or allergies. Just dont invite any women in the bathroom with you. The thing is the salt kills the bacteria. Now using tap water is a no no(and take it from me clorine in the nostrills hurts), distilled for anything that touches your respitory tract. Hell the other day I accidently mixed up some "spring" water into my CPAP and I was paying for it for 2 days with headaches and infected sinuses. The bottles look the same, thanks Absopure 😛 They should use different colored caps or labels. Distilled water is about the best you can get unless you buy the equipment and maintain it yourself. Then you KNOW what the process is. They sell distillers that are fairly inexpensive compared to the cost of buying the gallons of water. Anyway take care all.

    December 17, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric Roberts

      I know that...at least in my area (Chicago area)...many stores have purified and distilled water machines where you bring in bottles and refill them for about 30 cents a gallon. The only cost really is the initial cost of buying the container (I buy a few bottles of water and then refill them) and the 30 cents a gallon. You could also just boil your tap water and refill the gallon jugs with that too...boiling not only kills anything int he water, but also boils off any chlorine and other chlorine compounds. You can also let water sit out for a day to get rid of the chlorine. I used to do that for my fish tanks rather than use the chlorine/chlorate removal chems...

      December 17, 2011 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
  39. Brett Husebye

    ack Respiratory.

    December 17, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Sitnalta

    You know, I understand the margin of error for safe tap water, and even though some contaminants get though our water is still the safest in any country.

    But you know what? I draw the line at brain-eating amoebas. Let's find a way to filter those guys out.

    December 17, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. FactChecker

    It's just a bad idea to flush nasal pasages with water that was processed for drinking. After all, you can eat live grasshoppers without harm but you don't want to shove them up your nose.

    December 17, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. amac

    The story reports that only 32 cases of primary amebic meningoencephalitis have been reported in the United States in the past decade.

    So when deciding whether to use tap water or distilled water in your neti pot, you've got to ask yourself a question:

    Do you feel LUCKY? Well....... DO you?....... PUNK?

    December 17, 2011 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Mom in MA

    Wouldn't this be more of a bad water issue than a neti pot issue? Anyone with young kids knows that water up the nose or down the throat during baths can and does happen ... but yeah ignore the contaminated, dangerous water and warn people to use sterilized water in the neti pot.

    December 17, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric Roberts

      exactly...

      December 17, 2011 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
  44. Brett Husebye

    Tap water in the southern states isnt the greatest. The single celled brain eating ameoba is going to be here on earth after we have all died. Probably grow into the next life that evolves into a living race of human like beings digging us all up millions of years later examining our fossils. Great, great, great, x 20 millionth power grandpappy chewed on this dudes brain! COOL!
    Use the NETI pot, keep the DOCTOR out of business. Buy DISTILLED water or boil those critters in your water. DONT USE Salt with IODINE in it to shove in your nose either. Table salt has all kinds of stuff you dont need in your nose. If half the people of America used a Neti Pot instead of running to the DOCTOR everytime they got the sniffles insurance would probably not be as insane as it is now.

    December 17, 2011 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric Roberts

      Yep...i used to get 6-7 really bad sinus infections a year. After starting to use a sinus rinse (I use the NeilMed squeeze bottle with their prepackaged saline packets), I am lucky if I have to got o the doc 1 time a year for sinuses. Every once in a while it does get bad enough where the sinus rinse doesn't cut it...

      December 17, 2011 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
  45. 1stworldwhiteproblems

    Why are white people doing this anyway? Most people in general avoid drinking out of the tap (especially in the filthy south) let alone putting filthy tap water up the nose. Use tissues, use otc medicines, or go to the doctor if you're that sick. Using a kettle to flush out your nose is f*king gross. What's wrong with white people?

    December 17, 2011 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Jason

    "WHY GOVERNMENTS ALLOW DIRTY CONTAMINATED WATER IN OUR TAPS!!!"

    @see through the illusion, because the Republitard controlled govt. of Louisiana is too stuck on their own wallets to spend money on badly needed infrastructure and upgrades to water treatment. I bet you won't like that answer, but it is unfortunately true!

    December 17, 2011 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • see through the illusion

      I don't think anyone would like that answer, but I wouldn't doubt it. I'm still trying to figure out why we have a toxic waste called flouride dumped in our water and yet despite all the evidence of it being harmful, no one says anything. No article of toxic flouride on CNN!

      December 17, 2011 at 19:43 | Report abuse |
  47. Dora Smith

    Neti-pot users were born brain-dead, so a brain infection cannot possibly be killing them. The notion that tap water is safe to drink but not safe to rinse your nose with (NOT the same thing as using a neti-pot) is ludicrous. Nothing this state government idiot is being quoted as saying on this makes a lick of sense. I see that this spate of articles has scared many people out of drinking tap water. Conceivably something is wrong with the public drinking water in part of Louisiana, this is the state's nonsensical way to justify avoiding fixing the problem, and if the water contains deadly amoebas then noone needs to be drinking it. Otherwise nothing about this makes a lick of sense, and my own doctors have consistently told me to rinse my sinuses. So there!

    December 17, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Portland tony

    Aside from boiling tap water ann using good medically approved additives, you should be able to irrigate your sinus passages without losing your brain. Please note, the amoeba that does the damage lives only in warm stagnant water. Ponds ditches etc...not in tap water. The two kids who were infected in Florida prior to this incident had been swimming (playing) in an outdoor pond. Think about it. You don't soften or clean your contacts in tap water either. It's not the water. It's common sense.

    December 17, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. keith

    well thats what you get when you use dirty water.....

    December 17, 2011 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Blessed Geek

    People actually flush their nostrils?

    December 17, 2011 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.