An Alexandria teenager’s death last month was not caused by a deadly lake amoeba after all, according to confirmatory testing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hunter Boutain died from bacterial meningitis, not from contact with the rare but deadly Naegleria fowleri amoeba while swimming in early July in Lake Minnewaska, the Minnesota Department of Health reported on Monday afternoon. The state health department had initially reported the amoeba as the cause of the infection, which raised alarm over lake swimming because Naegleria fowleri is usually found in warmer, southern waters in the U.S. But CDC testing did not corroborate that finding. “The laboratory results help bring clarity to the situation, but do not lessen the tragic nature of this case,” the health department said in a news release. “The results also do not change the fact that there is always a very low-level risk of infection with Naegleria fowleri when swimming in fresh water.”
Swimmers can protect themselves agains the rare amoeba by using nose clips or a face mask when swimming in a lake, pond or stream. Minnesota resorts offer a wide variety of water fun at the beach or in a pool. Have a grand time!