Deadly Brain-Eating Amoeba Lurking in Some Water Faucets

With allergy season around the corner for Hampton Roads residents, allergy sufferers may want to adjust their habits to avoid a potential deadly health risk.

Researchers are saying that the two Louisiana individuals who died last year from a brain-eating primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) contracted the infection after using neti-pots with tap water harboring the bacteria, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study linked these infections to the presence of Naegleria fowleri in the tap water they used to regularly clear their sinuses with neti pots. While Naegleria fowleri is normally found in warm freshwater sources outdoors, experts suggest that the bacteria could also grow in household plumbing and tap water.

In response to this new information, the CDC has started recommending that individuals who use a similar device for nasal irrigation distill, filter, or boil the water before use.

Find an Allergy/Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) Specialist in Hampton Roads

Christine Franzese, MD, FAAOA, is a board certified otolaryngologist. Her specialties include: allergies and allergy shots (inhalant allergies, food and venomous stinging insects), sinus problems (acute and chronic), mild asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, thyroid masses or nodules, salivary gland disorders and nodules, and pediatric ENT issues (ear infections, tonsillitis).

She offers a comprehensive approach to sinus treatments including medical therapies, allergy management and endoscopic sinus surgery with the latest Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology. She has surgical expertise with removing tonsils and adenoids, thyroidectomies, parathyroidectomies, parotidectomies, and skin lesion removals. In addition, Dr. Franzese has extensive experience with FESS (functional endoscopic sinus surgery) and image-guided sinus surgery.

+ Learn more about the DePaul/EVMS Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

+ Make an appointment with a board certified otolaryngologist today!


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