It was a brain surgery similar to Dr. Charles Cobbs.
"This thing I have not seen before … pathologists could not really determine what this is because the tissue was almost destroyed," says Cobbs, a neurosurgeon at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
In January last year, Cobbs was working with the patient for what he thought was a brain tumor. When he opened it, the damage was so severe that he sent part of it for scrutiny.
It turned out that the rare amoeba had eaten her alive.
Cobs believes that the patient used a neat pot, a tea-potted product that is used to relieve the sinuses by sucking the water into the nasal cavity that puts the amoeba into her brain. He says he uses tap water, unlike the boiled water or saline solution.
The patient had a rare brain infection called Balamuthia mandrillaris. It is a free live amoeba found in soil and fresh water and generally does not cause any harm to humans.
Dr. Cobbs writes about the recent issue of the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
The publication does not identify the patient.
The report says that a rare amoeba was discovered in a autopsy ceremony in dairy monkey at San Diego Zoo in 1986 and was declared a new species in 1993.
It is also said that there are only about 200 cases of human infection enrolled worldwide and at least 70 cases in the United States. The mortality rate for Balamuthia infection is nearly 100%.
"If you directly … inject (c) into your nasal passages, if enough, an infection may occur," Cobbs explained.
"I guess it's in the nose and the skin in the nose, and after a while it's enough to get into the bloodstream and probably go to the brain."
According to the report, the infection has appeared as a skin lesion on the woman's nose. Doctors treated him for about a year, as if this were the usual condition of the skin, rosacea.
Cobbs says the rarity of the amoeba made his condition difficult to diagnose. Finally, the patient had a stroke, and then the doctors made a tomographic study. At this point, they diagnose it with a brain tumor.
Only after she has undergone an operation that she has diagnosed the infection. Despite the removal of parts damaged by the amoeba, the patient died within one month of diagnosis.
Warnings for nasal rinsing
Cobbs encourages those who use nasal rinsing to wash the containers properly.
"I suppose it was probably a container that was sitting around … an amoeba could build a store there, then the water from the tap might be sitting around, maybe it was just going up," he said.
He says net pots are a good way for those who have sinus or flu problems to get relief if used properly.