There always seems to be something to worry about; now it’s your tap water. Actually this is especially pointed at those who use neti pots to clear their sinuses. Two people in Louisiana last year were killed by primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) and the CDC is warning against the use of tap water with the neti pots.

Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri), is the name of the amoeba that has a 99% fatality rate. It is found in warm freshwater lakes and rivers. Both homes of the victims tested positive for the amoeba.

So how exactly does this amoeba kill? It enters the sinus cavity and works it’s way to the brain. Once it sets in, anywhere from 1-7 days after exposure, symptoms appear. Those symptoms can be headache, stiff neck, loss of appetite, vomiting, seizures, coma and eventually death.

How do you keep this from happening? Easy. The CDC says simply to boil your tap water or use distilled or filtered water when using the neti pot.

Most often this happens when swimming in warm, untreated water, and usually in males of about 12 years old. It is an extremely rare occurrence but when it does it most certainly means death.

So the bottom line is if you use a neti pot for your sinuses use only distilled/filtered or boiled water when doing so.