More die in U.S. from 'Brain-Eating' Amoeba after using tap water
At least two people have died from highly rare strain of meningitis
A second person has died after irrigating their nasal passages with tap
water, health officials say. Those who suffer from allergies, sinus
infections or headaches frequently use neti pots to rinse their nasal
passages. Both patients died after using the pots and contracting
Naegleria fowleri infection.
Patients that irrigate their noses with a neti pot should use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water.
Symptoms of PAM include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck, and may take one to seven days to start. Later symptoms include confusion, lack of attention to environment, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations. In one to 12 days after infection, death can result. The disease progresses rapidly and symptoms may resemble bacterial meningitis, medical officials warn.
The first Louisiana patient died of neti pot-induced infection in June. An additional two patients died of N. fowleri infection in August after swimming in warm, fresh water.
People can become infected after they submerge their heads in freshwater lakes and rivers. The disease can also be transmitted through inadequately chlorinated pool water or under-heated -- less than 116°F tap water that enters a patient's nose.
Patients that irrigate their noses with a neti pot should use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water, Raoult Ratard, MD, a Louisiana state epidemiologist says. The doctor notes that while tap water was safe to drink, it may not be safe for nasal cleansing.
N. fowleri infection is still very rare in the U.S. Only 32 cases have been documented from 2001 to 2010, according to the CDC website. The agency also noted that patients should rinse devices like the neti pot after use and to allow it to air dry.
The CDC is actively working with Louisiana state health officials on the investigation, an agency representative says.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Meningitis, neti pots, nasal irrigation
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