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Thread: Boiling water for Neti Pots...??

 


  1. #1
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    Boiling water for Neti Pots...??

    These are often suggested here, by one of our contributing physicians as I recall. I wasn't sold on them, but kept trying mine and have grown somewhat fond of it. My home dive bud swears by his. Anyway, it seems I need to start using bottled water from sterile jugs rather than tap water...

    From Neti Pot Deaths Linked to Brain-Eating Amoeba in Tap Water
    Louisiana health regulators warned residents Tuesday about the dangers of using neti pots improperly. A neti pot, which looks like a genie's lamp, is commonly used to irrigate sinuses. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued its warning following a second death this year caused by Naegleria fowleri, the so-called brain-eating amoeba. A 51-year-old DeSoto Parish woman died after using tap water in a neti pot to irrigate her sinuses and became infected by the deadly amoeba, which entered the body through her nose. In June, a 20-year-old St. Bernard Parish man died under the same circumstances.

    Safe 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," said Louisiana State Epidemiologist, Dr. Raoult Ratard. "Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for irrigating your nose."
    It's also important to rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave open to air dry, he said.
    The very rare infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in warm freshwater lakes and rivers. In very rare instances, health experts said such infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources, such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or heated tap water less than 116.6 degrees, enters the nose when people submerge their heads or when people irrigate their sinuses with devices such as a neti pot.

    Be Wary of Symptoms

    DHH said the amoeba causes the disease primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue. In its early stages, symptoms may be similar to symptoms of bacterial meningitis and can include headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and stiff neck. Later symptoms include confusion, loss of balance, seizures and hallucinations.
    After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within one to 12 days.
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    Not only do you need sterile water but you need to regularly sterilize the pot/bottle.
    I use the nasal irrigator squeeze bottle instead of the gravity feed neti pot. The instructions clearly warn to keep the equipment and water supply sterile. The instruction that came with mine suggests heating the water inside the bottle using a microwave, adding the saline and allowing it to cool to a comfortable temperture for use. The water I use is fresh from a 5 stage reverse osmosis water purifier and after it is boiled mixed and cooled then used immediately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DandyDon View Post
    These are often suggested here, by one of our contributing physicians as I recall. I wasn't sold on them, but kept trying mine and have grown somewhat fond of it. My home dive bud swears by his. Anyway, it seems I need to start using bottled water from sterile jugs rather than tap water...
    I'd guess thorough boiling (a minute or several?) would be needed if you're on well water, but are bugs like this significantly likely to survive a full-up municipal water system with chlorine? How about non-chlorinated ones? Water that's gone through a consumer water filter and that hasn't been boiled might also be an issue. Still should sterilize all your own containers..
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleeb View Post
    I'd guess thorough boiling (a minute or several?) would be needed if you're on well water, but are bugs like this significantly likely to survive a full-up municipal water system with chlorine? How about non-chlorinated ones? Water that's gone through a consumer water filter and that hasn't been boiled might also be an issue. Still should sterilize all your own containers..
    Amoebas In Drinking Water: A Double Threat - Science News
    You can test the tanks you breathe or - dive on hope.
    Testing is safer...


    Great news for vacation divers who cannot talk themselves into buying a personal CO tank tester!

    >> Rent one for a week or longer here <<

    Yeah it's just the air we breath - at depth!


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    Thanks, Don. So the possibility of exposure to the risk seems to be fairly wide spread, anywhere it's warm enough for amoebas to grow, regardless of water source.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleeb View Post
    Thanks, Don. So the possibility of exposure to the risk seems to be fairly wide spread, anywhere it's warm enough for amoebas to grow, regardless of water source.
    Treated water seems safer, but not enough maybe? We always have those amoebas in our lakes and ponds in the south every winter, with few deaths - but forcing the water up your nose seems to increase the risk. I guess it's all relative.
    You can test the tanks you breathe or - dive on hope.
    Testing is safer...


    Great news for vacation divers who cannot talk themselves into buying a personal CO tank tester!

    >> Rent one for a week or longer here <<

    Yeah it's just the air we breath - at depth!


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    www.dukedivemedicine.org
    http://hyperbaric.mc.duke.edu/

    Information provided is for educational purposes only, is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner, and should not be construed as a practitioner/patient relationship. Duke Dive Medicine does not condone the placement of "Skimwords" advertisements and does not endorse any of the products or services advertised.

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    Even if you dive in risk locations (see DDM's CDC link immediately above), I'd put this very low on your list of health concerns as it is extremely rare.

    Here's results from a couple studies:

    In the USA, over the period 1937-2007, a total of 121 cases were reported.

    In the USA, over the period 2001-2010, a total of 32 cases were reported.

    The reason it gets press is the staggering lethality of the infection. Only ~3-5% of those infected survive. Even given modern antibiotics and improved supportive care techniques, the survival rate is extremely small.

    Regards,

    DocVikingo
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