Sinus Rinsing & Neti Pots
Very rarely, Naegleria fowleri infections have been reported when people submerge their heads 1, 2 or irrigate their sinuses (nose) 3-5 using contaminated tap water. If you are making a solution for irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses (for example, by using a neti pot, sinus rinse bottle, or other irrigation device), use safe water to protect yourself.
Take at least one of these actions to lower your risk of becoming infected:
- Boil: Use water that has been previously boiled for 1 minute and left to cool.
- At elevations above 6,500 feet, boil for 3 minutes.
- Filter: Use a filter designed to remove some water-loving germs.
- The label may read "NSF 53" or "NSF 58."
- Filter labels that read “absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller” are also effective.
- Buy: Use water with a label specifying that it contains distilled or sterile water.
- Disinfect: Learn how to disinfect your water to ensure it is safe from Naegleria.
- Chlorine bleach used at the right level and time will work as a disinfectant against this germ.
Rinse the irrigation device after each use with safe water, and leave the device open to air dry completely.
If you are making a solution for irrigating, flushing, or rinsing your sinuses (for example, by using a neti pot), use the right kind of water to protect yourself.
For more information on neti pots and other nasal rinsing devices, see FDA’s Consumer Update: Is Rinsing Your Sinuses Safe?
- Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals. DHH Confirms Death of a Child Associated with Rare Amoeba Found in St. Bernard Parish Home. September 5, 2013.
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