AchooAllergy.com Blog
Neti Pots and Naegleria Fowleri
Posted by kevvyg on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
For the second time this year, neti pots have been linked to tragic fatalities via the contraction of Naegleria fowleri , the “brain-eating amoeba”. While this raises alarms over the use of neti pots to relieve congestion and allergy symptoms, the neti pot itself is NOT the problem. Indeed, there is something in the water.

Naegleria fowleri is typically found in warm, freshwater sources and is most often contracted while swimming in lakes, ponds and rivers. Contraction is more common in the American South and Southwest as these areas typically have large bodies of fresh water that remain warm throughout the year. Though the occurrence of contraction is extremely rare, due to the terminal nature of the microbe, reported incidences are often very high profile.

In the most recent instance, a Louisiana woman contracted the Naegleria fowleri after rinsing her nose with tap water. Though chlorination kills most organisms like this, it is not 100% effective. This is believed to be the case twice this year in Louisiana, and currently the CDC is assisting the Louisiana Department of Health in investigating the source of the microbe.

Nearly all types of neti pots recommend using distilled water. Using sterile or distilled water, or even water that is boiled then cooled to room temperature, is safe and effective. And for as much as we would like to believe that the water we consume, cook and bathe with is safe, unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Despite these instances, neti pots remain one of the most effective ways to relieve congestion and rinse away allergens without the use of medication. However, when using a neti pot, please follow the instructions as listed by the manufacturer and remain safe while relieving allergy symptoms.

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