Girl, 9, dies from brain-eating amoeba infection in Kansas

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Spring Hill, KS, United States (4E) – A 9-year-old girl from Kansas has died from brain-eating amoeba making her the second fatal victim of the rare infection in the state since 2011.

Hally Nicole Yust died Wednesday from primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which was found in her specimen during a laboratory test done at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting a second laboratory test to confirm the initial findings.

Yust was an avid water skier and medical authorities suspect she inhaled the amoeba in one of the four local lakes where she regularly does the water sport. Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in freshwater sources, including lakes, rivers and hot springs.

Symptoms of the amoeba infection are headache, nausea, fever and vomiting. The victim also suffers confusion, loss of balance, seizures and hallucination. Death can occur in 12 days.

There have been 132 cases of brain-eating amoeba in the U.S. from 1962 to 2013. About 34 of those cases occurred from 2004 to 2013 with most cases occuring in southern-tier states.

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