The woman filled the net pot with tap water, said a doctor. A Seattle, Washington woman whose brain was partially…
A Seattle, Washington woman whose brain was partially a “bloody mushball” after rare brain-wounding amorphasics, she probably infected the organisms when she used a neti pot full of tap water to clear her sinuses, according to a report.
The woman, who was not identified, was admitted to the Swedish hospital earlier this year after she had an attack, The Seattle Times reported. An initial CT scan revealed what the doctor thought was a tumor.
But they would soon learn that what was inside the woman’s skull was not a tumor at all.
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“When I drove on this lady, some of her brain told me about the size of a golf ball,” she said. said Charles Cobbs, a neurosurgeon at the Swedish Medical Center, The Seattle Times. “There were these amoeba everywhere just eating brain cells.”
“We had no idea what happened,” he added.
Tissue taken from the woman’s brain during the procedure would later confirm the presence of amoeba, especially Balamuthia mandrillaris ̵
1; which causes a rare but potentially fatal brain-bearing infection called granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) according to the publication.
The woman, 69, died in February – about a month after a doctor discovered amoeba in her brain and about one year after she was initially infected.
According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, doctors believe that the woman was probably infected while using water in her net pot, a teapot-like vessel used to flush nasal passages.
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The contaminated water went up into the woman’s nose “against [the] olfactory nerves in the upper part of her nasal cavity,” the Seattle Times reported, which eventually caused the infection that first appeared like a red sore in her nose.
“It’s such an extremely rare disease, it was not on any radar that this first nose would be related to its brain,” said Keenan Piper, a Swedish medical center’s co-worker and co-author of the study.
Healthcare professionals suggest using only distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to rinse the sinuses. Tap water can contain small organisms that are safe to drink but can survive in nasal passages. As said, the woman’s case was rare; There were only three similar cases in the United States from 2008 to 2017, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Associated Press contributed to this report.