A grieving Kansas family is struggling with the loss of their “precious daughter” who succumbed to an uncommon organism that lives in fresh water. But the parents of 9-year-old Hally Yust, who loved to swim and water ski, say her death should not frighten families from spending time in the water. “We want you to know this tragic event is very, very rare and this is not something to be fearful about,” the Yusts, of Spring Hill, said in a Friday statement, WDAF-TV reported.
The little girl died after being hospitalized with meningitis-like symptoms. Her death was caused by Naegleria fowleri, a rare, brain-eating amoeba that is found in fresh water and swimming pools that aren’t properly chlorinated. The virus enters the body through the nose and travels up to the brain. Its symptoms include headache, fever, nausea, neck stiffness and confusion. It is almost always fatal. One way to guard against the virus is to wear nose plugs while swimming or boating.