A Brain-Eating Amoeba Killed a Woman Who Used Tap Water in Her Neti Pot

A 69-year-old Seattle woman suffering from a sinus infection recently lost her life after contracting a rare brain-eating amoeba, and doctors believe it may be the result of using tap water with her neti pot.

According to a case published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the woman had been suffering from a persistent sinus infection. To treat it, doctors prescribed her a neti pot to rinse her sinuses twice daily. However, instead of using the recommended sterile water or saline to irrigate her sinuses, she opted to use water filtered via a Brita Water Purifier.

After using the neti pot for around a month, a red rash—the size of a quarter—formed on the right side of her nose. Her doctor believed it was rosacea and prescribed an ointment to treat it. However, it didn’t clear. She even made several visits to a dermatologist who took biopsies of it to no avail.

A year after the rash first appeared, the woman had a seizure and a CT scan was done. It showed a half-inch lesion on her brain. Doctors removed the “unusual” mass, but before they were able to analyze it her condition deteriorated and her arm and leg became numb.

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