Deadly Amoebas Found in Nasal Rinsing Products – CDC issues warning against Neti Pots users!

Brain-eating Amoeba found in neti pot and other nasal rinsing products
Brain-eating Amoeba found in neti pot and other nasal rinsing products. Credit | Getty images

United States: Scientists have indicated for decades that neti pot users could be infected with a brain-eating amoeba depending on what kind of water is used.

However, on Wednesday, the researchers also asserted that a second type of deadly Amoeba was linked with nasal rinsing.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the first time, put a link between Acanthamoeba infections and nasal rinsing products, including neti pots, in a report they published.

Also, officials reminded us that even though it’s very rare, some active water components can lead to very dangerous consequences after nasal washing with common tap water.

The CDC’s Dr. Julia Haston added, “We published this study because we want people to be aware of this risk,” as US News reported.

Know more about Neti pots

Visual Representation – Neti Pots. Credit | Gety images

Neti pots represent one of the ways of being more familiar with nasal flushing. They resemble small teapots but have a long spout. They are normally manufactured from ceramic or plastic.

People put them together and fill them with saline solution, pouring the liquid into the upper side. It passes the other way, cleaning that passage from the obstructing allergens and other irritating pollutants.

In the past few decades, Neti pot usage has boomed in the US, partly because there are increasing cases of allergies and other related respiratory diseases, as per the market researchers’ comments.

Many other methods can be used allowing you to clean the nasal passages, including the cups, which are fitted, and the plastic bottles, that can be squeezed.

Municipal water across the U.S. is by the minimum, purified to meet basic drinking norms; still, minor quantities of microscopic organisms may be present in it.

Trouble is usually not a problem if people drink and cook using tap water; it can however come up as a greater danger if it is used for other purposes such as in a humidifier or nasal heightening.

Officers from the CDC confirm finding it out from the 2021 survey, as nearly one-third of U.S. citizens erroneously believe tap water to be safe from microorganisms like bacteria and others. Almost two-thirds of them believe that one can really use water from taps to rinse their nasal cavity.

The CDC advises using boiled or sterilized distilled water. If using tap water, it needs to boil for at least a minute or three minutes if the elevation is higher, then cool down wisely, authorities say.

Illnesses related to nasal rinsing

About ten years ago, health researchers linked deaths attributed to an amoeba that eats the brain — named Naegleria fowleri — to nasal rinsing with herb-infused water. They also identified that nasal rinsing was the first symptom of illness caused by yet another microscopic creature in the environment, Acanthamoeba.

Acanthamoeba brings on about different types of diseases, but still is almost always fatal, with an 85 percent mortality during the reported cases.

Haston, the lead author of the report who published the study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, said, “These infections are very serious and even life-threatening,” as US News reported.

The new research details ten such patients whose illness happened between 1994 and 2022, among whom three lost their lives. Researchers say they can’t be sure how the patients were infected, but they noted several commonalities: All had weakened immune systems and were washing their noses actively.

Seven subjects reported use of nasal rinsing for chronic sinus infections and two among them were neti pots users. Another two patients also did nasal rinsing as part of a cleansing ritual that is part of some Indian traditions.

Know about Acanthamoeba

This Amoeba can be found in any part of the environment – lakes, rivers, seawater, and rich soil.

Diseases of skin and sinuses is one of the possibilities, the bacteria also can affect the brain, where it can cause the most deadly mechanism of inflammation. The microbe has furthermore been linked to sight-threatening, but non-fatal, eye infections through contaminated contact lens solution.

The U.S. health staff discovered around 180 cases of the protozoan among the diagnosed patients since the first case was reported in 1956.

In most of the cases, researchers are really unsure how people got infected in the first place. Yet in looking back at the cases in the past decades, CDC analysts obtained records that several cases of vinegar users cleared their sinuses with the vinegar solution, Haston added.

She added, “It’s very likely that we’re all exposed to Acanthamoeba all the time,” as US News reported.