New Report: Ritual Nasal Rinsing and NaegleriaCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent this bulletin at 11/14/2013 04:29 PM EST
In 2012, the first U.S. infection of the deadly brain disease primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) associated with using contaminated tap water for ritual nasal rinsing was reported. PAM is a severe and almost universally fatal brain infection. It is caused by Naegleria fowleri, a warm water-loving ameba commonly found in warm freshwater. Infection results when ameba-contaminated water enters the nose allowing the organism to travel to the brain.
Historically, most infected people become ill after swimming or other recreational freshwater exposure. Because ritual nasal rinsing during ablution (or “Wudu” in Islam) is also a way to become infected, a greater percentage of the global population may be at risk.
New report details U.S. case
Today we published a brief article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that details a recent PAM case in the U.S. that was associated with using contaminated water while performing ritual nasal rinsing:
CDC. Primary amebic meningoencephalitis associated with ritual nasal rinsing – St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, 2012. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62(45):903.
New materials target prevention
We have developed resources that discuss the merits of water safety while performing ritual nasal rinsing. Each is designed to educate the public about Naegleria fowleri and how to lower the risk of infection from this germ.
See CDC’s new Ritual Nasal Rinsing & Ablution web page.
See CDC’s new Safe Ritual Nasal Rinsing fact sheet.
For more information, visit CDC’s Naegleria fowleri website.