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 (474 Responses)
  1. FmrfEncox

    cialis everyday [url=https://cialisee.com/ ]generic cialis online[/url] how long does cialis last

    May 11, 2021 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. FmrfEncox

    cialis quick ship http://cialisee.com/ – best price for cialis cialis shop

    May 11, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LebnEncox

    online canadian pharcharmy canadian pharmacy online ship to usa Zestril

    May 12, 2021 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RebfZisse

    cialis online pharmacy australian http://rcialisgl.com/ – overnight cialis viagra vs cialis side effects

    May 12, 2021 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. LbsoZisse

    generic for cialis https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis 20mg for sale

    May 12, 2021 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. storno brzinol

    Great line up. We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 13, 2021 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. storno brzinol

    Superb blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I'm hoping to start my own blog soon but I'm a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I'm completely overwhelmed .. Any suggestions? Many thanks!

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 13, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JebgEncox

    hq pharmacy online 365 http://pharmacylo.com/ pharmacy coupons

    May 13, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. BbshMile

    low price viagra https://loxviagra.com/ how to buy viagra online

    May 14, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. stornobrzinol

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique content I've either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being stolen? I'd genuinely appreciate it.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. LebnEncox

    Ventolin https://xlnpharmacy.com/ Avana

    May 14, 2021 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RebfZisse

    cialis com http://rcialisgl.com/ herbal form of cialis

    May 14, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. AnooEncox

    viagra for shortness of breath https://llviagra.com/ viagra compuesto

    May 16, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. BbshMile

    marley generics viagra reviews http://loxviagra.com/ poppers and viagra

    May 16, 2021 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. LbsoZisse

    buy brand cialis online usa https://ucialisdas.com/ buy generic cialis online

    May 16, 2021 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. GtnbCrulk

    cost of viagra at cvs https://jokviagra.com/ himalayan viagra

    May 16, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. JebgEncox

    professional pharmacy online pharmacy weight loss cvs pharmacy online

    May 17, 2021 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. AnooEncox

    teachers unions viagra http://llviagra.com/ viagra before after meal

    May 17, 2021 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Leave a Reply to Billygem


 

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.