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Teen dies after contracting brain eating amoba while swimming

Hunter Boutain
Hunter Boutain

14-year-old Hunter Boutain has died just two days after he contracted a brain-eating amoeba while swimming in a lake.

The boy, from Alexandria, Minnesota, US,was brought to the University of Minnesota Medical Centre in Minneapolis after swimming in Lake Minnewaska on Tuesday.

Boutain was taken off life support on Thursday morning.

Hunter he was being treated for suspected primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a rare and often fatal brain infection caused by the Naegleria fowleri amoeba.

The amoeba infects people by entering the body through the nose.

Symptoms include headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting and stiff necks. Secondary symptoms can include confusion, hallucinations, lack of attention, loss of balance and seizures.

Public beaches in the area were closed on Tuesday, but have since reopened.

Experts say you can reduce the risk of becoming infected by using nose clips, keeping your head out of the water and avoiding stirring up sediment at the bottom of shallow freshwater areas.

Just 35 people have died from PAM in the U.S. since 2005.