Man dies after amoeba infection from Florida tap water

Becker’s Healthcare – A Florida man died Feb. 20 after being infected with a rare amoeba while practicing daily sinus rinsing with tap water.

The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, can be contracted only through water in the nose.

It is the first reported case of the infection in the U.S. this year, the first ever reported in the winter months and the first in Florida of a person being infected via tap water … READ MORE. 

‘Brain-eating’ amoeba case tied to unfiltered water in sinus rinse

By Nicoletta Lanese published 2 days ago

LIVE SCIENCE – A person in Charlotte County, Florida, was recently sickened by a single-celled organism that can cause a rare, “brain-eating infection,” possibly as a result of rinsing their sinuses with unfiltered tap water, health officials reported.

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Regarding the use of neti pots and other sinus rinsing methods, the Food and Drug Administration warns(opens in new tab) that “Tap water isn’t safe for use as a nasal rinse because it’s not adequately filtered or treated.”

People should boil and cool tap water before using it for such purposes, or else pass it through a filter designed to trap infectious organisms; alternatively, distilled or sterile water is another safe choice, the agency notes.

“DOH-Charlotte, as part of a multi-agency response, is continuing to investigate how this infection occurred and is working with the local public utilities to identify any potential links and make any necessary corrective actions,” the department stated.

In addition, DOH-Charlotte included the following instructions for Charlotte County residents:

  • When making sinus rinse solutions, use only distilled or sterile water. Tap water should be boiled for at least 1 minute and cooled before sinus rinsing.
  • DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small hard plastic/blow-up pools.
  • DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small hard plastic/blow-up pools); walk or lower yourself in.
  • DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid Slip N Slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose.
  • Keep small hard plastic or blow-up pools clean by emptying, scrubbing and allowing them to dry after each use.
  • Keep your swimming pool adequately disinfected before and during use … read more. 

LEARN MORE: Safe Ritual Nasal Rinsing 

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