Minnesota Boy Dies After Contracting Brain Infection While Swimming

A 14-year-old boy who developed a rare brain infection after swimming in a western Minnesota lake has died.

In a statement issued through the University of Minnesota Medical Center, the family of Hunter Boutain, of Alexandria, says his condition deteriorated through the night and he was declared brain dead Thursday morning.

A spokesman for the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital confirmed the boy’s death.

State and federal health officials have been working to confirm whether Hunter’s infection was the result of a water parasite that’s more common in warmer southern states.

He became ill after swimming in Lake Minnewaska.

If confirmed, it would be Minnesota’s third verified death from the amoeba, which enters the brain through the nasal cavity.

The two previous cases happened in 2010 and 2012.

While the amoeba is common, officials say the risks of infection are extremely low. 

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