Two people in Louisiana die from using sinus irrigation device

Family

POSTED: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 4:55pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 12:49pm

A rare brain-eating amoeba is to blame for another death in Louisiana.

A 51 year-old woman from DeSoto Parish is the second person since June to die from using a sinus irrigation system.

This parasite grows in lukewarm water and is known as Naegleria.

Dr. Martha Whyte stated, "In both cases, the Naegleria was found in the water inside the home. We want to stress you cannot get Naegleria from drinking this water."

"She presented, just like most of these cases do, with signs of meningitis - had a fever and the headaches then muscle aches… not feeling good, throwing up," said Whyte.

Experts say when using a sinus irrigation system to bring tap water to a rolling boil, then let it slightly cool or use distilled or sterile water instead.

The CDC has recommended the water temperature to be 116 degrees or above, but preferably 120 degrees or above.

The amoeba can only be contracted if infected water is snorted, and it's commonly contracted by swimming or diving in warm freshwater lakes or rivers.

Dr. Whyte says you can't contract the infection by bathing.

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