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[personal profile] darkoshi
These are some of my initial thoughts on the reports of brain-eating amoeba danger from neti-pot use.

"If you are irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses, for example, by using a neti pot, use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water to make up the irrigation solution," Louisiana State Epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard said in a statement.

Dang, that sucks. Using a neti pot is enough of a hassle (when I do it) using tap water. Having to buy and store distilled water, and heat it to the right temperature first (rather than turning on the hot & cold water taps), would make it even more of a hassle.

I suppose that heating the water in the microwave wouldn't be as much hassle as heating it on the stove, at least. But if you get it too hot, you can't just pour in extra cold tap water to cool it down... you'd have to either wait for it to cool, or cool it off with more of the precious store-bought distilled water.

Sometimes store-bought distilled water smells like plastic from the containers it is stored in. Pouring plastic-smelling water through ones nose likely isn't good for you either.

If you use boiled water instead of distilled, how long do you have to boil the water for it to be safe?

"The amoeba, formally known as Naegleria fowleri, destroys brain tissue and kills victims in about one to 12 days"

Death in 1 to 12 days... that doesn't sound so bad. Compared to other possible deaths, anyway.

What's the likelihood of coming down with a case of brain-eating amoebas from using tap-water neti, compared to the likelihood of getting into a bad car-cash?

When I'm horribly sick with a cold and runny/congested nose, am I really going to care about the obscure possibility of brain-eating amoebas?

The amoeba is usually found in freshwater lakes, rivers and ponds and does not normally survive the water-treatment process, Live Science reports. It must enter the body through the nasal cavity; it cannot be ingested through drinking water.

If it doesn't usually survive the water-treatment process, then why is the focus on neti-pot usage, rather than on the water-treatment process? Is there a problem with Louisiana's water treatment process? Or is it considered normal for some amoebas to make it through the process, and if so, how common is it?

Are there amoebas in my drinking water??? Ewwwww. How many non-brain-eating amoebas and other things like that are there in the tap water?

"While it's uncommon for tap water to contain the deadly amoeba, it may house harmful bacteria, such as e-coli, ABC 4 News reports. "

What? There's e-coli in my drinking water?

::Checks papers:: The city used to send out a water quality report every year, but I haven't gotten any since I started receiving my statements online a few years ago. But Google helped me find the report for 2010. It says that the highest monthly percentage of samples containing coliform bacteria was 2.06%, and that the highest level allowed is 5%.

Oh well.

Oh that reminds me. My throat felt a bit sore during the night. I wanted to take some garlic pills...


I'd be more likely to boil water for neti than to buy distilled water for it. But how long would it need to be boiled?* I recall reading other articles that you have to boil water for a certain length of time, not just bring it to a boil... but maybe that was for sterilizing other objects by putting them in boiling water, rather than sterilizing the water itself.

CDC - Naegleria FAQs
All it says is "previously boiled water". So maybe you only have to bring the water to a full boil??

This article has some interesting info too:
Identification of Naegleria fowleri in Domestic Water Sources by Nested PCR

* see next post