The state of Louisiana's health department has issued a warning about the potential dangers of “improperly” using neti pots. This warning is in response to two recent deaths in the state that are thought to have resulted from “brain-eating amoebas” (aka N. fowleri organisms) entering people's brains through their sinuses while they were using their neti pots.
Before we all start freaking out, the Fox News article that is creating all this hype clearly states that this assumption is still being investigated to determine that the deaths did indeed result from exposure to treated tap water in neti pots.
According to Jonathan Yoder, an epidemiologist with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Nearly all the cases (of N. fowleri) have resulted from exposure to warm recreational water, such as ponds, rivers and lakes, and the kind of exposure where the water would be forced up the nose — for example, diving and water sports. The amoeba thrives in natural waterholes, especially those in the South, and several Americans die every year from swimming in these waterholes, or using untreated water from them.”
Yoder went on to say,”However, in the last 15 years, I'm not aware of other cases [in the U.S.] associated with treated drinking water,” he said.
So, we shall see what their investigation concludes. Either way, play it safe and boil the water you use for your neti pot. And, don't believe the hype.