Lake goers alert of rare amoeba, still enjoying area lakes and water sports

HILLSDALE LAKE, Kan. - After one JoCo resident died from an infection by a waterborne amoeba, lake goers are alert and continue to enjoy water sports at area lakes. 

Hally Yust died Wednesday of a very rare illness caused by a waterborne amoeba that attacks the brain.

She swam and water skied until getting infected by the amoeba that took her life. Yust was in four area lakes, including Hillsdale Lake, in the past few weeks before becoming infected. 

Health officials haven’t been able to determine where Yust contracted the infection. Doctors said the infection occurs when the amoeba enters the body through the nose and travels to the brain.

Yust’s family wrote in a statement they’re very active in water sports and will continue to be.

Other people at Hillsdale Lake also participated in water sports after the 9-year-old's death. 

Some parents took extra precautions. 

"I watched the news and went and got the nose plugs cause they said that would help and that's what I did for my kids to make sure they were safe," parent Craig Mitchell said. 

Other lake goers weren't too worried about the rare amoeba. 

“It’s not necessarily something I’m worried about," personal watercraft rider Steve Sharp said. "I’m more worried about maybe getting splashed in the eyes or something, maybe getting some dirt in my eye. But not really an amoeba up my nose."

The Kansas Department of Health emphasized the risk of infection is extremely low. 

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