Louisiana Officials are warning users of a nasal irrigation device to follow the instructions on the box and make sure they use sterilized water instead of tap. The Reason? Two death’s have been reported where authorities believe that they contracted the Brain-Eating Amoeba (Naegleria fowleri,) from using the devices.
The Brain-Eating Amoeba infected the victims’ brains with a neurological disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAME), which quickly destroys brain tissue and typically causes death with 48 hours.
What is worrying experts in the field is that if the deaths were caused by exposure to tap water, it will be the first recorded cases of PAME coming form treated drinking water. The Brain Eating Amoeba thrives in the warm untreated water found all throughout the southeastern United States. Every year there are several deaths from people swimming in waterholes rivers and streams.
This time though the water was treated with chlorine and other chemicals to make the water safe.
So it is possible to catch the disease form exposure to treated water? Jonathan Yoder, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had this to say to Fox News “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. 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.
Does the Brain Eating Amoeba freak you out enough to ditch the Neti Pot?