home
RSS
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

Post by:
Filed under: Cold and flu • Health.com

soundoff (412 Responses)
  1. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – phd thesis search buy a thesis phd thesis writing services editing thesis

    March 27, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. GrvCrulk

    https://kloviagrli.com/ – canadian pharmacy ezzz viagra https://vigedon.com/ – over the counter viagra walmart https://llecialisjaw.com/ – effects of cialis https://jwcialislrt.com/ – which is better viagra or cialis https://jecialisbn.com/ – cialis patent expiration date

    March 27, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Billygem

    zithromax online pharmacy canada: zithromax for sale zithromax 250 mg tablet price
    http://zithromaxproff.com/# generic zithromax online paypal

    March 30, 2021 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – law thesis help with thesis statement writing phd thesis writing phd thesis

    April 1, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. FbshEncox

    https://thesisacloud.com/ – writing thesis paper phd thesis paper proquest thesis database thesis review

    April 2, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. AbgcEncox

    https://thesiswritingtob.com/ – thesiswritingtob.com uk thesis thesiswritingtob.com phd degree

    April 9, 2021 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6

Leave a Reply to FhnhZisse


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

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.