Seattle woman dies after contracting rare form of brain-eating amoeba

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

At that time, a CT scan showed a half-inch lesion on her brain.

The team at Swedish Medical Center believe the woman was using a device called a neti pot to irrigate her sinuses, which likely introduced the amoeba into her system.

The 69 year-old, who has not been named, was taken to the Swedish Medical Center near her home in Seattle after suffering a seizure this year.

Another type of brain-eating amoeba, commonly found in warm water and more generally known to doctors and the public, is called Naegleria fowleri. "There were these amoeba all over the place just eating brain cells".

A study published by the International Journal of Infectious Diseases determined that the woman contracted the brain infection a year earlier by using a neti pot filled with nonsterile water to treat a sinus infection.

Unfortunately, this woman became one of these fatalities, dying just one month after the surgery. The report notes that it's safest to use saline or sterile water.

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First it was an angry red rash on her nose that wouldn't go away.

A year on, the woman started to develop some unusual symptoms, such as a odd red rash around the outside of her nasal passage.

"When I operated on this lady, a section of her brain about the size of a golf ball was bloody mush", Dr. Charles Cobbs said, according to the Seattle Times. Although becoming infected is rare, Dr. Cobbs says people should always follow instructions and take precautions when using medical devices.

According to Dr. Zara Patel, a professor of otolaryngology at Stanford University, when people use contaminated water to rinse their nose and sinuses, they can be at risk for aggressive infections. Her doctor told her it was rosacea and prescribed an ointment, according to the report. "Often patients will think that using bottled water is fine and assume it is distilled, it that is actually not the case".

In this case, doctors pointed to the neti pot the woman had been using to clear up her sinuses. There have only been around 200 reported cases of infection worldwide, although around 70 of those cases were in the US alone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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