SEATTLE, Wash. – When a 69-year-old woman from Seattle had an attack at the start of this year, the doctors at the Swedish Medical Center thought she might have a brain tumor. However, during surgery, they found that it was something far more unusual, according to KCPQ.
Dr. Charles Cobbs said that when he operated it was just a dead brain tissue.
Dr. Cobbs said it was most likely infected with Balamuthia mandrillaris, an amoeba that kills brain cells slowly over time.
The Swedish Medical Center did not identify the patient who died only one month after the diagnosis.
"There were these amoebas everywhere that eat only brain cells," Cobbs tells the Seattle Times. "We had no idea what was going on, but when we got the real fabric, we could see it was the amoeba."
The Swedish Medical Center team believes the woman is using a device called neti pot to flush her paranasal sinuses, which probably introduced amoeba into her system.
"It is extremely important to use sterile saline water or sterile water," Dr Cobbs said. "I think he was using (touching) the water that had passed through a water filter and had been doing it for about a year."
The amoeba is a single-celled organism that can cause fatal diseases in humans and lives in hot soil and water.
"This is extremely rare.This amoeba was not even barely known 20 years ago.There were about 200 cases worldwide," said Dr. Cobbs
. Ninety percent of the patients who have contracted bamamuthia have died. Although the infection is rare, the dott. Cobbs says that people should always follow the instructions and take precautions when using medical devices.
"If you use a neti pot, for example, you should be well aware that it must be absolute sterile water or sterile saline," said Dr. Cobbs.
Most brain cases have been found amoebas in California, Arizona and Texas, but Dr. Cobbs said that over time, due to climate change, the amoeba could learn to survive in more areas. cold as in the state of Washington.