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Old 12-17-2011, 08:26 AM
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Default Neti Pot Danger?

Neti pots linked to brain-eating amoeba deaths

By Natalie Wolchover
Louisiana's state health department has issued a warning about the dangers of improperly using nasal-irrigation devices called neti pots, responding to two recent deaths in the state that are thought to have resulted from "brain-eating amoebas" entering people's brains through their sinuses while they were using the devices.

Both victims are believed to have filled their neti pots with tap water instead of manufacturer-recommended distilled or sterilized water. When they used these pots to force the water up their noses and flush out their sinus cavities � a treatment for colds and hay fever � a deadly amoeba living in the tap water, called Naegleria fowleri, worked its way from their sinuses into their brains. The parasitic organism infected the victims' brains with a neurological disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAME), which rapidly destroys neural tissue and typically kills sufferers in a matter of days.

Jonathan Yoder, an epidemiologist with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the Louisiana cases are still being investigated to ascertain that the deaths did indeed result from exposure to treated tap water in neti pots, rather than exposure to untreated water in a pond or lake. If so, they are the first known incidences of the disease in the U.S. resulting from N. fowleri organisms surviving the water treatment process.

"Nearly all the cases have resulted from exposure to warm recreational water, such as ponds, rivers and lakes, and the kind of exposure where the water would be forced up the nose � for example, diving and water sports," Yoder told Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. The amoeba thrives in natural waterholes, especially those in the South, and several Americans die every year from swimming in these waterholes, or using untreated water from them. However, "in the last 15 years, I'm not aware of other cases [in the U.S.] associated with treated drinking water," he said.

Municipal water undergoes a rigorous purification process to make it potable, including being treated with chlorine to kill microorganisms, he explained. "We consider chlorination to be effective in killing [N. fowleri]. I can't comment on any water system in Louisiana, but in general � you may start out with 1 million amoebas and your goal is to reduce it with chlorine, and you might get 99.9 percent out. But you're probably never going to eliminate 100 percent. That goes for amoebas, parasites, bacteria, viruses. So while we say our drinking water is safe, it's not sterile." [Can Your Tap Water Kill You?]

N. fowleri only seems capable of reaching the brain if it's given a big boost by being squirted deep into a person's nasal passages. That's why water that is considered safe to drink or bathe in isn't necessarily safe to use in a neti pot, Yoder said.

But if you only use distilled or previously boiled water in your neti pot, and you avoid snorting water when diving into waterholes, can you be sure you won't get PAME simply by splashing your face with the water out of your faucet � especially if you live in Louisiana?

Yoder said the CDC maintains that the risk of getting PAME from normal exposure to tap water is very low, but they are helping Louisiana's health department investigate the water treatment process in the state. "In general, what we're committed to is even though there are very few cases, CDC is very committed to learning more about the organism so we can prevent further infection by developing science-based prevention methods. But it is a very tragic infection and we're very sad for the families."
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:39 PM
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I've heard about these brain eating amoebas being in warm water lakes and streams, and was surprised to hear on the news about the neti pot connection. When I was using my neti pot, I always used filtered tap water, I don't think the water in my area would be problematic.
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:34 PM
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Every treatment can kill if not done right. One could even drown using a neti pot.
If one trusts their county or city to provide clean water you will get what you get.
In this day and age we have the ability to be fully aware of most of our surroundings.
One should know what is in their water and what the implications may be, especially in our highly toxic world

Does this sound unreasonable? Well, we live in unreasonable situations these days... yet we have the power to mitigate most of it if we wake up.
"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." Marcus Aurelius
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:42 PM
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Distilled water should be used. This is to eliminate other unwanted minerals, such as clorine, fluorine, iron,... The water companies don't seem to have the facilities to eliminate pharmaceutical drugs from the water supply either. So even counter top filters would not help.
- Jim

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.� Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:01 AM
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Yet another reason to use filtered water.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:59 PM
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I don't believe the amoeba, water, netti pot theory is responsible for the deaths in question. Millions of people in India have survived ritual bathing in the sewage polluted warm water of the Ganges. Indian ritual bathing includes snorting water to clean the sinuses. However, I do believe it is important to use cleanliness in all aspects of use of a netti pot.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:46 PM
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I'm not sure what I think about this and amoebic. I live in Florida that there are signs everywhere on our lakes about amoeba and in the news once a year or every two years there's a case of somebody dying from amoeba. It's typically only the very hottest months and amoebic is normally found by the shores and not in deaper areas.

I guess it could get into tap water, but then isn't there an issue with the tap water then? I wouldn't even want to drink that water if it could possibly have amoeba

I think you should use clean water, but I'm not sure if I believe somebody died from a netti pot
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:03 AM
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Sounds a little sensational to me too.

What cocktail of drugs were these two individuals taking for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood clots, etc.
I'd rather meander for the prevention than race for the cure.
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