Seattle woman dies after contracting rare form of brain-eating amoeba

"When I operated on this lady, a section of her brain about the size of a golf ball was bloody mush", Dr. Charles Cobbs told the local paper.

The contaminated water went up the woman's nose "toward [the] olfactory nerves in the upper part of her nasal cavity", The Seattle Times reported, which ultimately caused the infection which first appeared as a red sore on her nose.

Swedish Medical Center didn't identify the patient who died just a month after being diagnosed.

"It's such an incredibly uncommon disease it was not on anyone's radar that this initial nose sore would be related to her brain", Piper said. But what doctors initially thought was a brain tumor turned out to be rare amoebas that were attacking her brain. She had been using water that had been put through a filter and maybe it had been sitting there and somehow the amoeba from somewhere else got in there. When doctors did a CT scan, they found what they thought was a tumor but later discovered was dead tissue in her brain during an operation.

Doctors took the woman into critical care and quickly sent word to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which rushed a shipment of an anti-amoeba drug called miltefosine. Dr. Cobb says she most likely became infected by the amoeba after treating a common sinus problem with tap water.

The woman's condition quickly deteriorated.

A Seattle woman unwittingly injected deadly brain-eating amoebas into her nasal cavity when she rinsed out her sinuses with tap water, according to a new report. When the doctors looked at these samples of the tissue under the microscope, they could see the amoebas.

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A Seattle woman died after becoming infected with a brain-eating amoeba.

According to the CDC, most brain infections from amoebas are associated with swimming in warm freshwater lakes and rivers.

Such infections are very rare.

In 2011, Louisiana health officials warned residents not to use nonsterilized tap water in neti pots after the deaths of two people who were exposed to Naegleria fowleri while flushing their nasal passages.

"We believe that she was using a device to irrigate her sinuses that some people use called a neti pot".

A study published by the International Journal of Infectious Diseases determined that the woman contracted the brain infection by using a neti pot filled with non-sterile water to treat a sinus infection a year earlier. However, instead of using sterile water, she used tap water that had been run through a store-bought filter.

Unlike N. fowleri, B. mandrillaris is much more hard to detect, according to the report.

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