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CDC: Fatal Brain-Eating Amoebas In Nasal Washes Print E-mail
Written by Robert Smith   
Thursday, 01 March 2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Jewish Health in Colorado both have issued a warning about nasal washes after two people have died from using tap water to do their sinus rinse.

Health experts say its safe to use nasal washes. Its not about the rinse, its about the water. They warn that a mixture from a faucet could be fatal.

Reading, writing and sinus rinses. Theyre part of the curriculum for some students at Kunsberg School at National Jewish Health. Saltwater nasal washes can help asthma and allergy sufferers.

The saline rinses are highly recommended at National Jewish for children and adults.

I do them at home if I have a bad cold, said Marie Fornof, Certified Infection Preventionist.

But Fornof says not to use tap water. Its because of a brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. Its common in warm rivers and lakes, but if it travels up the nose to the brain its usually deadly.

But somehow the US population is DrInKiNg this water?

To give you perspective, over the past decade where the CDC has looked at it, the 32 cases they had 31 patients died, Fornof said.

The brain infections caused by the amoeba are rare, but the two most recent deaths in Louisiana were tied to the use of tap water in neti pots to flush sinuses.


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