MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A young swimmer who contracted a brain-eating amoeba in a western Minnesota lake Tuesday has been identified.
On Wednesday, the University of Minnesota Medical Center confirmed that it is treating 14-year-old Hunter Boutain. He is currently in critical condition.
Hunter’s uncle, Bryan Boutain, issued a statement Wednesday.
“As of this afternoon, Hunter is still in the hospital and remains in critical condition. This is a difficult time for our family. We are grateful for the support we’ve received, and welcome everyone’s continued prayers,” Bryan said.
The Minnesota Health Department says Boutain was swimming in Lake Minnewaska in Pope County when he contracted the rare brain infection.
There have been just 35 confirmed cases of the freshwater amoeba, nationwide, in the past decade. Two of those were in Minnesota.
This disease is caused by an amoeba that’s often found in warm bodies of freshwater. The amoeba can get to your brain if you inhale water through your nose.