9-Year-Old Water Skier Dies From Brain-Eating Amoeba
Kansas girl apparently contracted infection in freshwater
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2014 11:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 9-year-old girl's love of the water ended up sadly dooming her in what her family calls a "one in a billion" occurrence. Hally "Bug" Yust of Spring Hill, Kan., died after contracting an infection commonly known as brain-eating amoeba, reports the Kansas City Star. The infection generally occurs in freshwater during warm weather, and Hally had been skiing on four different bodies of water in recent weeks. The exact source of the infection can't be determined as a result, but the best guess is that water went up her nose while she was skiing, and the amoeba traveled to her brain, reports KCTV5.

State officials says the odds aren't quite one-in-a-billion, but the infection formally known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis is relatively rare: It cites 132 cases in the US from 1962 to 2013, mostly in southern states and nearly always fatal. Citing those long odds, Hally's parents said their daughter loved the water, and "we hope you will not live in fear of this rare infection that took our daughter’s life.” (A young woman in Oregon suffered a life-threatening infection after falling off her bike.)

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Jul 13, 2014 12:45 AM CDT
"an infection commonly known as brain-eating amoeba" "one in a billion chance" Those two statements sort of contradict each other. I wish it was one in a billion. I don't go anywhere near fresh water ponds once they hit 75 or higher, and I never go under. I remember a few years ago, that neti pot thing, that's used to clear your nose, was used by a bunch of people in Louisiana who made the genius decision to fill it with local tap water from the swamps. Needless to say they all died of brain eating amoebas. Spring feed ponds, and swimming pools for me thanks.
Ezekiel 25:17
Jul 12, 2014 7:13 PM CDT
I used to think this was limited to stagnant mostly southern lakes. I operated a waterfront in a very muddy lake for more than 25 years and I always took precautions but fell in now and then. I guess I got extremely lucky. But a fellow staffer went up north to Minnesota and his family swam in a lake up there. One of his kids got this bug and it did serious damage to his mind. I think it also affected his wife but that's mostly my opinion of her.
Jul 12, 2014 1:52 PM CDT
Tea Party voters are safe from brain-eating amoeba. No brains!