Saturday, December 17, 2011

PSA on Netipots

Okay, maybe I'm too sick to recognize bunk, or maybe my brain is being eaten by an amoeba, but this article, (shared with me by my cousin Margaret) scared the snot out of me:

North Lousiana Woman Dies from Rare Amoeba Infection

"The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is warning residents about the dangers of the improper use of neti pots. The warning follows the state's second death this year caused by Naegleria fowleri, the so-called brain-eating ameba. A 51-year-old DeSoto Parish woman died recently after using tap water in a neti pot to irrigate her sinuses and becoming infected with the deadly ameba. In June, a 20-year-old St. Bernard Parish man died under the same circumstances. Naegleria fowleri infects people by entering the body through the nose. A neti pot is commonly used to irrigate sinuses, and looks like a genie's lamp."

"If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, for example, by using a neti pot, use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution," said Louisiana State Epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard.  "Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose."  It's also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry.

Initial symptoms of PAM start one to seven days after infection. The initial symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and stiff neck. Later symptoms include confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within one to 12 days.

Actually, I wish it had scared the snot out of me. Sadly, I've still got plenty clogging up my head.  I am scared, though; I'm going to buy some distilled water tomorrow. 

I'm pretty sure my iron will thank me, too.

In response to this post, I received an email from Alexandra Pfenninger, of She shared an on-line video story on this subject here.  From that story, I also learned that in the past ten years, only 32 people have died this way, which I guess is a good thing (as long as you're not one of the 32). Thanks, Alexandra, for the link.

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