Tsunami spawns strange case of sinus infection

JAPANESE doctors have described a case of “tsunami sinusitis” after treating a 31-year-old woman who inhaled seawater during the March 11 earthquake-triggered disaster.

The woman, who presented to hospital a week later with pneumonia and other injuries, had CT scans that revealed sandy deposits in her sinuses.

“Irrigation… was effective in washing out the sand and improving the sinusitis,” the doctors said, noting the discharge contained E. coli and other toxins.

Lancet 2011; 378:1116