Sunday, December 25, 2011

Using the Neti Pot Will Eat Your Brain

I feel like I ought to be posting about little R's first Christmas Eve but instead my brain is currently preoccupied with this terrible story.

The Neti Pot is a little gadget used for flushing out your sinuses. However, there is a small chance that tap water can contain the organism Naegleria fowleri. While ingesting it is not a problem (as it's destroyed by your stomach), if it reaches your nose, it can make its way through your nasal passages to your brain, where it literally eats your brain. Within a week of infection, sufferers develop a headache, fever, vomiting, and a stiff neck, followed by confusion, seizures and hallucinations. Within two weeks, 98% of those infected die.

Since the Neti Pot basically puts water directly into your nasal passages, using tap water in it (instead of the recommended sterilized/distilled water) is not a good idea and has killed two people this year.

I am so totally grossed out by this and yet fascinated (brain eating organisms really exist! a zombie movie come alive!). I know what I won't be buying for Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. At first I was super annoyed at this story (since we swear by neti pots in our house) and thought it was another jab at natural remedies from the pharmaceutical companies. But then NPR looked into it - and it appears it is true. I made my husband swear to use filtered water from now on - but I'm not sure it worked.