The woman had gone to the doctor for a chronic sinus infection and was instructed to use a saline irrigation to clear out her sinuses, but while sterile water or saline is recommended, she used water filtered by a Brita Water Purifier, according to a case study in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
And a year later, in January 2017, the woman had a seizure, per the paper.
"When I operated on this lady, a section of her brain about the size of a golf ball was bloody mush", Charles Cobbs, a neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Center, told the Seattle Times. When the doctors looked at these samples of the tissue under the microscope, they could see the amoebas. The CDC found evidence of the amoeba in both the woman's brain tissue and tissue from the rash on her nose, Cobbs said.
Democrat McCready takes back concession in disputed 9th congressional district race
One woman told WSOC-TV that Dowless "paid her $75 to $100 a week to go around and pick up finished absentee ballots". Harris knew", said Woodhouse. "This is against everything that we actively stand for", he said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rushed the anti-amoeba drug miltefosine to Seattle to try to save the woman's life, but she fell into a coma and died.
"If you do use a neti pot, for instance, you should be very aware that it has to be absolute sterile water or sterile saline", said Dr. Cobb.
Indeed, the ensuing biopsy report showed that the woman had been infected with a rare brain-eating amoeba called Balamuthia mandrillaris. "There were these amoeba all over the place just eating brain cells". The CDC says it's possible that the amoeba may also live in water. Unlike N. fowleri, however, which kills its human victims in a matter of days, the B. mandrillaris amoeba requires more time to inflict its damage. In this case, however, it was the neti rinse device that delivered the amoebas, via infected tap water, into her nasal passages and into her olfactory nerves, the scientists said. There, doctors took a CT scan of her brain and discovered what they believed was a tumour. Since 1993, the CDC says, there have been at least 70 cases in the United States. The fatality rate is almost 100 percent. In cases involving N. fowleri, for example, people have contracted the amoeba by jumping into a lake and having water shoot up their noses.
"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", Keenan Piper, a Swedish Medical Center employee and co-author of the study, told the newspaper. "At this point, the family chose to withdraw support", the report continued. Instead, distilled or sterile water should be used, or boiled and cooled water.