Hunter Boutain, a 14-year-old Minnesota boy, died this week just three days after health officials suspect he was infected with a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a lake.
Boutain was taken off life support Thursday after doctors declared him brain dead, the New York Daily News reported.
On Tuesday, Boutain was swimming at Lake Minnewaska in Pope County, and it was there that officials believe he came into contact with primary amebic meningoencephalitis, which is a pathogen sometimes found in fresh warm water. The News said it typically enters the body through the nose.
"Hunter's condition deteriorated throughout the night and he was declared brain dead [Thursday] morning. Hunter was surrounded by his family. It is a deeply emotional time for all of us. We ask for privacy and prayers as we remember our beloved Hunter," Bryan Boutain, Hunter Boutain’s uncle, said in a statement quoted by KSTP.
Boutain’s brother, Lee Boutain, posted on Facebook
after his brother died, "The Lord didn't want him to stay on earth. As much as I am hurt I know I can't love him as much as GOD. He is a jealous GOD and he wanted Hunter to stay with him. So the only thing I can do is keep him my heart and focus on GOD. For my little brother will be there waiting for me when I leave this earth."
KSTP said the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still working to confirm that the brain infection is from the amoeba and whether there are additional threats for others in Minnesota. The lake remains open.
The state’s health department said there have been 35 cases of brain-eating amoeba infection in the United States between 2005 and 2014, with two cases occurring in Minnesota. But Houdain’s situation is unusual because, in the other Minnesota cases, the victims contracted the illness in smaller, warmer bodies of water.
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