A 68-year-old woman from Seattle was using a neti pot with filtered tap water to clear her sinuses. However, the CDC recommends for people only to use distilled, sterile water. Her doctor told her that she should rinse her sinuses twice a day to clear away a chronic infection. Now, she is dead.
It took a month of clearing her sinuses with non-sterile water for a red rash the size of a quarter to appear on the right side of her nose. Her doctor blew it off as rosacea and had her using ointment to clear the rash. However, the outbreak was still there, and she went to a dermatologist for answers. Biopsies on the outbreak did not give her the answers she was in need for.
After a year with the rash, the woman had a seizure. A CT scan showed that there was a half-inch lesion on her brain. Doctors were able to perform surgery on her to remove the mass. According to doctors, there were unusual characteristics to the lesion.
Neti Pot With Tap Water Causes Woman To Die From An Infection To Her Brain
Not too long after the surgery, the woman’s left arm and leg became numb. She was given drugs for an amoebic infection, but her condition did not improve. Her family made the decision to take her off life support.
After the woman’s death, tests came back showing that he had Balamuthia mandrillaris. Balamuthia mandrillaris is an amoeba that lives in soil and is possible to live in water. The amoeba can travel to the brain, causing a deadly infection. She had negative test results for Naegleria fowleri, a different amoeba that can cause a fatal brain infection.
Because cases such as her can be hard to diagnose, there is a possibility that other cases have gone untreated.