A teenager who caught the brain-eating amoeba ‘Naegleria Fowleri’ while swimming in a lake has been declared dead by officials. Hunter Boutain, who was just 14 apparently caught the amoeba while swimming in Lake Minnewaska, Minnesota Health Department officials said. He remained in critical condition at the University of Minnesota Medical Center – where he then succumbed to the infection on Thursday.
“Hunter’s condition deteriorated throughout the night and he was declared brain dead this morning,” said his uncle Bryan Boutain, in a statement. “Hunter died surrounded by his family. It is a deeply emotional time for all us. We ask for privacy and prayers as we remember our beloved Hunter.”
The deadly disease is rarity but occurs when the amoeba swims up through the nose into the brain. There have been just 35 confirmed cases of the freshwater amoeba, nationwide, in the past decade. Two of those were in Minnesota.
When confirmed, Boutain’s death would be the third verified death from the amoeba in Minnesota. The other two cases happened in 2010 and 2012.
It’s a tragic death, indeed. Experts have recommended certain ways to seek protection against the bacteria, one of which includes keeping one’s head above water at all times to prevent water entering through the nose. For more ways to keep safe from this horrifying amoeba: How to Keep Safe from Naegleria Fowleri?