Wear turquoise for 14-year-old amoeba victim Hunter Boutain

Photo: Caring Bridge, Hunter Boutain
Photo: Caring Bridge, Hunter Boutain

An Alexandria, Minn. teenager who died from a rare brain infection will be laid to rest Monday. Hunter Boutain, 14, got the infection from an amoeba while swimming in Lake Minnewaska, and died just a few days later.

“Hunter died surrounded by his family,” his uncle, Bryan Boutain, said in a statement. “It is a deeply emotional time for all us. We ask for privacy and prayers as we remember our beloved Hunter.”

The funeral will be held this at 11a.m. Monday morning in Alexandria. His family is asking those who attend to wear turquoise, which was Hunter's favorite color.

Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a very rare and most often fatal brain infection caused by an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, found in freshwater and soil all over the world.  The amoeba can infect people by entering the body through the nose, which usually happens when people get water up their nose from swimming and diving in warm freshwater.

The infections are most common in southern states. Prior to the confirmation of a case in Minnesota in 2010, the infection had not been detected north of Missouri. There were 35 total cases reported in the United States from 2005 through 2014, with two confirmed cases in Minnesota in 2010 and 2012.


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