A frightening story out of Seattle today comes with a warning. A woman there died after an amoeba ate her brain. She got it using a common health tool, and doctors say it could happen again if someone else is doing the same thing. The International Journal of Infectious Diseases put together a case study on the 69-year-old woman after she died earlier this year. She was not identified in the study, but the Seattle Times reports she was a Seattle resident. Doctors believe she got the brain-eating amoeba after using a neti pot to rinse her sinuses. Instead of using sterile water, or a saline solution, she used tap water. The amoeba reached her brain after entering her nose and had been feeding on her brain for a whole year before it killed her. There have been more than 100 cases of this kind of amoeba, Balamuthia mandrillaris, in the United States since the 1970s. 90 percent of the time, the infection kills the patient. Doctors say people who rinse their sinuses should not use tap water to do so.
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