In a follow-up to a report of a Minnesota teen who is believed to have contracted the “brain-eating amoeba”, Naegleria fowleri, family members say he is mostly unresponsive.
The patient, now identified by a Caring Bridge account as 14-year-old Hunter Boutain remains in critical condition battling the serious parasitic infection. Hunter is being treated at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
Health officials determined that the child developed the infection after swimming at Lake Minnewaska in Pope County.
If confirmed, the eighth-grader would be the third known case in Minnesota. The other cases were reported in 2010 and 2012.
In the most recent update from his uncle in the website, he writes:
There is a very important test tonight for brain activity. Regardless of the outcome, the same test will be performed 12 hours or so later. Intermittently, his left pupil reacts to light. Intermittently, it does not. His blood pressure goes both ways. He breathes with help of a machine. Nothing else happens. They have administered everything they can. It’s up to him now.
Naegleria fowleri is a free-living ameba that causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a disease of the central nervous system. PAM is a rare disease that is almost always fatal. In the United States, there have been 133 PAM infections from 1962 through 2014 with only three survivors (Read about Kali Hardig’s story from 2013). These infections have primarily occurred in 15 southern-tier states, with more than half of all infections occurring in Texas and Florida.
Our hearts and prayers go out to young Hunter and his family.