ST. PAUL, Minn. – Health officials say lab tests have determined that a Minnesota teenager did not die from a water parasite as initially suspected, but instead from a bacterial disease.
Fourteen-year-old Hunter Boutain, of Alexandria, died of a brain infection July 9. He became ill after swimming in Lake Minnewaska in western Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Health initially suspected his infection was the result of the Naegleria (nigh-GLEER'-ee-uh) fowleri amoeba. But the department said Monday that tests by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined Hunter died from a streptococcal bacterial infection of the brain instead.
The department says the results help bring clarity to the situation but don't lessen the tragedy of Hunter's death.
While the amoeba is common, the risks of infection from it are low.