Woman killed by brain eating amoeba after using neti pot with tap water
BALTIMORE (WBFF) Johns Hopkins Hospital helped diagnose a rare, brain eating amoeba that killed a woman in Seattle.
According to a report by the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the 69-year-old woman was suffering from chronic sinus infections and used a neti pot for about a month to try and clear her sinuses. But, researchers say the woman used tap water filtered with a Brita Water Purifier, rather than the recommended sterile water or saline.
Doctors said the woman developed a rash on her nose and about a year later suffered a seizure.
A biopsy of her brain, which was sent to Johns Hopkins Hospital revealed brain eating amoeba, researchers said.
Amoeba is a micro-organism that lives in fresh water.
Doctors believe the amoeba was in the tap water and got into the woman’s brain through her nose.
“Once a patient is exposed to these amoebas and the amoeba is able to penetrate the brain tissues the patient is going to be in trouble,” explained Dr. Carlos Pardo, with Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr. Pardo explained amoeba causes the brain to swell, which can lead to death.
“The patient’s immune system will have a very aggressive reaction against that infection,” said Dr. Pardo. “It will produce inflammation, meaning Encephalitis.”
Amoeba likes to live in warmer, stagnant water.
Dr. Pardo admits amoeba is difficult to detect, adding those with a chronic illness or defect within the eat or nose are more at risk.