BY MARY MARSHALL
A brain-eating amoeba that occupies bodies of fresh water is to blame for the death of a 9-year-old girl in Kansas Monday night.
The Johnson County-native Hally Yust fell victim to primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a rare and deadly brain disease caused by the parasite, according to abcnews.go.com.
According to Shon Yust, Hally’s father, she had been exposed to freshwater for two weeks when symptoms began July 6. It started off with a headache followed by nausea until the disease progressed to July 8 when she was described as being “delirious,” and died July 9, abcnews.go.com reports.
Naegleria fowleri is a parasite that breeds in warm bodies of freshwater, making it more common during summer. It gains access to the brain through the nose.
According to nj.com, cases are rare, but more likely to be reported during heat waves when air and water temperatures are warm. Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club said: "We're going to be seeing more and more environmental and health impacts from climate change over the next few years."